Wildlife can act as long-term asymptomatic reservoirs for zoonotic bacteria, such as Salmonella. The prevalence and antimicrobial-susceptibility profiles of Salmonella spp. were assessed in 263 cases in wildlife from 22 animal orders from a wildlife rehabilitation center in Catalonia (NE Spain), September 2013–May 2014. Eleven of 263 tested animals were positive for Salmonella spp., representing an overall prevalence of 4.2%. Prevalences by taxonomic categories were 2% in mammals, 4.7% in birds, and 4.5% in reptiles. By species, one each of European hedgehog (Erinaceus europeus; from a sample of n = 26), Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo; n = 2), Barn Owl (Tyto alba; n = 3), Tawny Owl (Strix aluco; n = 20), Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus; n = 1), Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus; n = 1), and Hoopoe (Upupa epops; n = 2), and two each Common Kestrels (Falco tinnunculus; n = 16) and pond sliders (Trachemys scripta; n = 25) were positive for Salmonella. By serotyping, seven of eleven isolates were classified as S. enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium, and five of seven belonged to the monophasic variant 4,12:i:-. All the monophasic variants were isolated from birds (4/5 in raptors) and showed a multidrug-resistance (MDR) profile to at least ampicillin, streptomycin, sulfonamide, and tetracycline (R-type ASSuT), and up to 12 antibiotics. The large proportion of S. Typhimurium monophasic MDR strains detected in wildlife never treated with antibiotics, especially in raptors, adds more complexity to the epidemiologic control of one of the most frequent serovars involved in human and livestock infection.
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Vol. 51 • No. 3