Two adult Great Spotted Woodpeckers (Dendrocopos major) from separate sites in Great Britain were examined postmortem in 2013 and 2016. A Salmonella sp. was isolated from multiple tissues in both birds. Histopathology and immunohistochemistry confirmed disseminated salmonellosis. Whole-genome sequencing and biochemical analyses putatively identified both isolates as a novel variant of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Hessarek (S. Hessarek). Salmonellosis has seldom been reported in Piciformes, and never before in association with S. Hessarek infection. These findings, therefore, add to current knowledge regarding the range of wild bird species susceptible to this Salmonella serovar, and our understanding of the pathogens affecting Great Spotted Woodpeckers, in particular.
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Vol. 55 • No. 4