Acta Vet. Brno 2015, 84: 209-213

The incidence and antibiotic resistance of Salmonella species isolated from cloacae of captive veiled chameleons

Silvia Barazorda Romero1, Zdeněk Knotek1, Alois Čížek2, Martina Masaříková2, Petra Myšková3

1University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Avian and Exotic Animal Clinic, Brno, Czech Republic
2University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, Brno, Czech Republic
3Veterinary Research Institute, Brno, Czech Republic

Received June 18, 2014
Accepted April 1, 2015

Salmonella can be present in the intestinal flora of captive reptiles without clinical disease or it can cause life threatening morbidity. The presence of certain species of Salmonella in reptiles is consistent with them being the source of contamination in some cases of human disease. Thus, Salmonella positive animals can be a potential public health concern even more when strains acquire resistance to antibiotics. The nature and extent of Salmonella harboured by different species of reptiles commonly kept in captivity are not known. The aims of this study were to analyse the incidence of Salmonella species in cloacae as an indicator of the intestinal flora in a cohort of healthy captive bred female veiled chameleons. A cloacal sample was taken from each of fifteen healthy captive bred, adult female veiled chameleons that were housed at a teaching and research clinic. Salmonella isolates were confirmed by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry and positive cases were serotyped by slide agglutination test. Salmonella organisms were detected in 12 chameleons. Eighty percent of chameleons harboured 1 of 4 subspecies and serovars of Salmonella. All strains belonged to the species enterica, predominantly subspecies enterica (91.7 %) and were distributed among 4 different serovars: S. Ago (58.3 %), S. Blijdorp (16.7 %), S. Tennessee (16.7 %) and S. IV 45:g,z51:- (8.3 %). Antibiotic resistance to streptomycin was detected in one of 12 Salmonella strains: S. IV 45:g,z51:-. Our study extended the list of Salmonella found in healthy captive animals and included serovars S. Tennessee and S. IV 45:g,z51:- that have been associated with morbidity in humans.


Authors would like to thank to Dr. Corinne Lendon, BSc, BVSc, PGCert L&T, PhD for her valuable suggestions, critical comments and correction of English. Thanks are going to technicians at the Avian and Exotic Animal Clinic for professional care of veiled chameleons and to doc. MVDr. Renata Karpíšková, Ph.D., from the Veterinary Research Institute, Brno, for determination of Salmonella serovars. The Salmonella serotypization was financially supported by the project LO1218 from the MEYS CR under the NPU I program.


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