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Prevalence of Salmonella Typhimurium infection in Norwegian hedgehog populations associated with two human disease outbreaks

  • K. HANDELAND (a1), T. REFSUM (a2), B. S. JOHANSEN (a3), G. HOLSTAD (a2), G. KNUTSEN (a4), I. SOLBERG (a5), J. SCHULZE (a6) and G. KAPPERUD (a7) (a8)...

Abstract

Faecal carriage of salmonella was investigated in 320 hedgehogs from Moss municipality in south-eastern Norway, Askøy, Bergen and Os municipalities in central-western Norway, and five municipalities in south-western and central Norway. The sampling in Moss was carried out 1 year after a human outbreak of salmonellosis, whereas the sampling in Askøy, Bergen and Os was carried out during a human outbreak. Both outbreaks were caused by Salmonella Typhimurium 4,5,12[ratio ]i[ratio ]1,2. No salmonella were detected in the hedgehogs from south-western (0/115) and central (0/24) Norway. Thirty-nine percent (39/99) of the animals sampled on Jeløy, and 41% (34/82) of those from Askøy, Bergen and Os, carried S. Typhimurium 4,5,12[ratio ]i[ratio ]1,2. The PFGE profile of isolates from hedgehogs and human beings were identical within each of the two outbreak areas. A significantly higher carrier rate of S. Typhimurium occurred among hedgehogs sampled at feeding places, compared to those caught elsewhere. The salmonella-infected hedgehog populations most likely constituted the primary source of infection during both of the human disease outbreaks, and the Norwegian hedgehog is suggested as a reservoir host of S. Typhimurium 4,5,12[ratio ]i[ratio ]1,2.

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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
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