Investigation links salmonella outbreak to pet bearded dragons

January 26, 2024

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key points:

  • Two cases of Salmonella The infections in Canada and 12 in the US were linked to bearded dragons.
  • Most cases occur in children, who are more susceptible to infection and disease.

An investigation of a Salmonella Researchers reported a multinational outbreak linked to pet bearded dragons in Canada that included a dozen cases in the United States in 2021 and 2022.

Keeping reptiles as house pets has become common in the US and Canada, but many people are unaware that reptiles such as lizards, snakes and Turtles can take Salmonella Bacteria are also excreted in their gastrointestinal tract without showing signs of illness. Catherine Paphitis, PhD, MSc, CPHI(C), CIC, Enteric zoonotic specialist, and fellow in Public Health Ontario.



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Under stress, bearded dragons that carry Salmonella Often shed more bacteria than normal. Image: Adobe Stock

“The discovery that bearded dragons were the source of this outbreak is considered worthy of scientific publication to contribute to the body of literature on salmonellosis and source attribution, and to provide a resource for those involved in human case investigation and outbreak management. serotype,” Paphites told Helio about the new research.

Apart from reptiles, Hedgehogs And can also carry backyard poultry. Salmonella and other pathogens that can infect humans. In 2021, Salmonella The outbreak prompted the CDC. Warn against petting or kissing pet chickens..

“Since Salmonella “The serotype involved in this investigation is rare in North America,” Paphitis said, adding that “little was known about potentially causative exposures.”

After two cases of Salmonella enterica In 2022, serovar Witkin infections were detected among children in Ontario who lived in households with bearded dragons. Salmonella Cases

They found no cases in Canada over the past 14 years but identified 12 in the United States that are linked. Salmonella Tension between March 2021 and September 2022. Eight of the 12 cases in 10 US states involved people who either had direct contact with a bearded dragon or had one in their home.

Of the US cases, eight occurred in children younger than 1 year and five were hospitalized. There were no reports of casualties.

Salmonella It was detected in two Canadian cases and intestinal samples collected from a bearded dragon rock cave, while none of the American patients allowed investigators to screen their bearded dragons. Salmonella.

Not all bearded dragons were associated with a single breeder. The Ontario patients obtained their dragons from two different pet stores and the US patients obtained their bearded dragons from four different physical pet stores and one online supplier, although the US pet stores had three common intermediary suppliers. was provided by one of

Captive bearded dragons have a higher rate, according to Paphitis and colleagues. Salmonella More vehicles than wild bearded dragons, and stress can add to them. Salmonella Shedding rates, owners need to be aware of the danger, reduce stress on dragons and practice proper hygiene when handling them.

“Education of pet owners is essential so they can make informed choices about the type of pet in their home,” Paphitis said. “Awareness of the danger of Salmonella Reptiles, for example, can help inform pet owners of general steps they can take at home to reduce the risk of disease for themselves and others in the household, including children. can be reduced from

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