Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serotype Typhimurium and Escherichia coli 086:K61 :NM are two bacteria that can cause outbreaks of mortality in garden birds visiting bird tables and other feeding stations. Two sites in south-west Scotland were monitored for the two organisms for 12 months. At site A, large numbers of birds fed throughout the year, and at site B smaller numbers of birds fed only in the winter months. Samples of composite faeces were collected from the feeding stations and screened for the organisms, and any dead birds were also screened. S Typhimurium definitive type (DT) 56 (variant) was found to be endemic at site A, and was recovered from 48 per cent of samples of composite faeces collected from the bird table, from 42 per cent of composite faeces from underneath a hanging feeder, and from 33 per cent of composite faeces from below a roost used by house sparrows; the organism was also isolated from the carcases of six wild birds found dead at the site. In contrast, S Typhimurium (DT41) was recovered only once at site B, from 2 per cent of the composite faeces from below a hanging feeder, and no dead birds were recovered from the site. E coli 086 was not recovered from the faeces collected from either site, but was isolated from a bird that died from trauma at site A.
- British Veterinary Association. All rights reserved.
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