Preliminary findings of Salmonella spp. in captive green iguanas (Iguana iguana) and their environment

M. A. Mitchell, S. M. Shane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Captive reptiles are routinely identified as reservoirs of Salmonella spp. and reports of reptile-associated salmonellosis are increasing. Unfortunately, little is known about the epidemiology of Salmonella spp. and green iguanas. We did a limited survey of a green-iguana farm in El Salvador to identify sources of Salmonella spp. in green iguanas and their environment. A limited number of samples for microbiological culture were collected from iguanas (adult, hatchling, and embryos) and their environment (food, water, soil, shelter, insects, and wild-caught lizards). Salmonella spp. was isolated from the intestine of both adult (3/20) and hatchling iguanas (8/20). There was no evidence of Salmonella spp. in the reproductive tracts of female iguanas (0/10). Salmonella spp. was isolated from the surface of 40% (7/16) of the egg surfaces tested. Salmonella spp. was not identified from the externalized yolk-sac of the iguana embryos tested. Soil samples from a breeding pen and a nest were both positive for Salmonella spp. Eight different Salmonella spp. serotypes were identified in this survey. These results suggest that horizontal transmission of Salmonella spp. is a potential source of exposure to hatchling iguanas at this facility. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-304
Number of pages8
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jun 12 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Green iguana
  • Iguana iguana
  • Salmonella spp.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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