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Transbound Emerg Dis. 2014 Aug;61(4):378-84. doi: 10.1111/tbed.12037. Epub 2012 Dec 6.

Lack of evidence of spill-over of Salmonella enterica between cattle and sympatric Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica) from a protected area in Catalonia, NE Spain.

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Servei d' Ecopatologia de Fauna Salvatge (SEFaS), Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia Animals, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Barcelona, Spain.


Salmonella enterica is a zoonotic agent of worldwide importance found in a wide range of wild hosts. However, its prevalence in many popular game species has never been assessed. Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica) is the main game caprinae of the Iberian Peninsula and around two thousand individuals are hunted every year for trophy or for home consumption. In this work, 313 Iberian ibexes from the Ports de Tortosa i Beseit National Game Reserve (NE Spain) were tested for Salmonella enterica in faeces, and anti microbial susceptibility was determined. The exact location of shooting or capture was recorded with a GPS device to study the links of Salmonella infection with cattle presence and human proximity. Additionally, samples were taken from cattle grazing inside this reserve (n = 73). Only three Iberian ibexes (0.96%, 95% CI 0.2-2.8) were positive to Salmonella (serotype Enteritidis, Bardo and 35:r:z35), while prevalence was moderate in cattle: 21.92% (95% CI 13.10-33.14, serotype Meleagridis, Anatum, Kedougou and Othmarschen). All isolates were susceptible to the anti microbial agents tested. Moreover, a case of fatal septicaemic salmonellosis in an 11-year-old male Iberian ibex is described where Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis was isolated from the lung, liver and spleen samples. The low prevalence of Salmonella in Iberian ibex and the lack of shared serotypes suggest no association to cattle. Despite this, game meat aimed for human consumption should be examined, and it is strongly recommended that hunters and game keepers manipulate animals and carcasses under maximal hygienic conditions to avoid environmental contamination and human contagion.


Salmonella; free-ranging; transmission; wildlife; wildlife-livestock interface; zoonoses

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