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Epidemiol Infect. 2006 Jun;134(3):635-44. Epub 2005 Oct 20.

Salmonella in Black-headed gulls ( Larus ridibundus); prevalence, genotypes and influence on Salmonella epidemiology.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.


During a period of 3 years, 1998-2000, 1047 faecal swabs from Black-headed gulls were sampled at one location in Southern Sweden. Salmonella spp. was found in 28 individuals (2.7%) and the dominating serotype found was S. Typhimurium (83%). Twenty-five per cent of the Salmonella-infected gulls were later recaptured and re-sampled. We found that Salmonella infection in Black-headed gulls was of short duration, and that infection in this bird species was predominantly expressed as carriage without disease manifestations. All S. Typhimurium isolates were subjected to antibiotic resistance profiling and molecular characterization by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and IS200 polymerase chain reaction. The S. Typhimurium gull isolates were compared to human and domestic animal isolates of the same serotype and phage type. We found genetic relatedness of S. Typhimurium DT195 isolates from gulls, domestic animals and humans, indicating that Black-headed gulls might play a role in the spread of S. Typhimurium in Sweden.

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