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Rodents as a Source of Salmonella Contamination in Wet Markets in Thailand

Ribas, Alexis, Saijuntha, Weerachai, Agatsuma, Takeshi, Prantlov√°, Veronika, Poonlaphdecha, Srisupaph
Vector borne and zoonotic diseases 2016 v.16 no.8 pp. 537-540
Rattus exulans, Rattus norvegicus, Salmonella Typhimurium, farms, habitats, humans, markets, rats, serotypes, Thailand
Background: Few studies have been conducted on the presence of Salmonella in the rodents that inhabit the wet markets that play an important role in daily life in Southeast Asia. The results of studies of rodents as carriers of Salmonella vary greatly, ranging from an absence of Salmonella to high prevalences. Previous studies investigated habitats such as farms and urban and wild areas where there is less rodent-human interaction than in wet markets. Consequently, the potential role of rodents as reservoirs and transmitters of Salmonella in wet markets is of great interest.Methods: Rodents were trapped in eight traditional wet markets in Thailand and identified to species level. Subsequently, they were screened for Salmonella and isolates were serotyped.Results: A total of 110 rats (Rattus norvegicus and Rattus exulans) were examined. Overall, the prevalence of Salmonella in rats was 49.10%, but varied between 0% and 73.3% among markets. Three serovars were identified: Salmonella Typhimurium (30%), S. Weltevreden (12.7%), and S. 4,[5],12:i:- (6.4%).Conclusions: Our results show that rodents in wet markets are a potential reservoir of Salmonella due to the close contact they have with humans and food. The three isolated serovars, of which serovar S. 4,[5],12:i:- is reported for the first time in rodents, are among the 10 commonest serovars isolated from humans in Thailand. Thus, more attention should be paid to rodents as potential reservoirs of Salmonella.