Source: Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals
Salmonellosis is an infectious disease of humans and animals caused by organisms of the two
species of Salmonella (Salmonella enterica, and S. bongori). Although primarily intestinal bacteria,
salmonellae are widespread in the environment and commonly found in farm effluents, human
sewage and in any material subject to faecal contamination. Salmonella organisms are aetiological
agents of diarrhoeal and systemic infections in humans, most commonly as secondary
contaminants of food originating from animals and the environment, usually as a consequence of
subclinical infection in food animals leading to contamination of meat, eggs, and milk or secondary
contamination of fruits and vegetables that have been fertilised or irrigated by faecal wastes.
Human salmonellosis is one of the most common and economically important zoonotic diseases.
Salmonella organisms may also be found in animal feedstuffs, causing subclinical gastro-intestinal
carriage or infectious disease in animals, particularly poultry and pigs. Salmonellosis has been
recognised in all countries, but appears to be most prevalent in areas of intensive animal
husbandry, especially in pigs and calves and some types of poultry reared in confinement. Reptiles
are commonly subclinical carriers of Salmonella. Several serovars are host specific (e.g.
S. Abortusovis in sheep or S. Typhi in humans) or host adapted (e.g. S. Choleraesuis in pigs and
S. Dublin in cattle).
The disease can affect all species of domestic animals; young animals and pregnant and lactating
animals are the most susceptible. Enteric disease is the commonest clinical manifestation, but a
wide range of clinical signs, which include acute septicaemia, abortion, arthritis and respiratory
disease, may be seen. Many animals, especially pigs and poultry, may also be infected but show no
clinical illness. Such animals may be important in relation to the spread of infection between flocks
and herds and as sources of food contamination and human infection.
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