Prevalence of Salmonella in intestinal mucosal samples from free-ranging Red-eared Sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) in Illinois

Anne M. Readel, Christopher A Phillips, Tony L. Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Turtles can be carriers of bacteria of the genus Salmonella, and numerous studies have documented Salmonella shedding in both captive and free-living populations. Because turtles may shed Salmonella intermittently, however, data based on fecal samples may underestimate the true prevalence of the bacterium in turtles. We examined intestinal mucosal scrapings using molecular methods to identify Salmonella in free-ranging Red-eared Sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) to determine carriage rates. Salmonella was detected in 11% (8/73) of turtles. Prevalence of infection did not vary among the nine ecologically varied ponds sampled. The prevalence of Salmonella infection in this study was higher than documented in a previous study that was conducted on conspecifics in the same area and during the same year but using fecal samples, suggesting that free-ranging Red-eared Sliders can harbor Salmonella but not shed the bacterium in feces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-213
Number of pages7
JournalHerpetological Conservation and Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 29 2010



  • Bacteria
  • Infections
  • Red-eared Sliders
  • Salmonella
  • Trachemys scripta
  • Turtles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this