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 language||English (US)|
|Journal||Herpetological Conservation and Biology|
|State||Published - 2010|
Readel, A. M., Phillips, C. A., & Goldberg, T. L. (2010). Prevalence of Salmonella in intestinal mucosal samples from free-ranging Red-eared Sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) in Illinois. Herpetological Conservation and Biology, 5(2), 207--213.