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Onderstepoort J Vet Res. 1997 Dec;64(4):277-83.

Salmonella isolated from crocodiles and other reptiles during the period 1985-1994 in South Africa.

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  • 1Salmonella Laboratory, Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute, South Africa.


Over a 10-year period, 173 isolates of Salmonella were obtained during routine isolation from reptiles. Of the 173 isolates, 92 different Salmonella serovars were identified. Of them, 61 (66%) belonged to subspecies I, nine to subspecies II and 21 to subspecies III (IIIa and IIIb), and one to subspecies IV. The majority of isolates were from farmed Nile crocodiles (145), three from wild-caught African dwarf crocodiles, 11 from captive snakes, 13 from lizards and one from a tortoise. The isolates from the tortoise and lizards were subspecies I isolates (Zaire and Tsevie, respectively). Of the snakes, nine isolates were S.III. The serovars isolated most often from the crocodiles were of subspecies I (32 serovars). Eight were from subspecies II, seven from subspecies III and one from subspecies IV. The most frequently identified serovars were Typhimurium (seven), Tsevie (six), Duval (six), Schwerin (six), Tinda (six), and Tallahassee (six). On two commercial crocodile breeding farms that had experienced ongoing problems for about two years, many isolates of Salmonella were made. Some of these serovars were isolated more than once, and also months apart. No single Salmonella serovar predominated, nor did a single pathological condition. These salmonellas were predominantly of subspecies I.

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