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Salmonella infections in garden birds and cats in a domestic environment
  1. D. J. Taylor, MA, VetMB, PhD, DipECVPH, DipECVPHM, MRCVS1 and
  2. A. W. Philbey, BVSc, PhD, MACVSc(Path), MRCVS2
  1. 1 Division of Animal Production and Public Health
  2. 2 Division of Pathological Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G61 1QH
  1. Correspondence to Dr Philbey, e-mail: adrian.philbey{at}

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Wild bird strains of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, including phage types (definitive types) DT40 and DT56v, have been associated with disease in finches (Family Fringillidae), cats and human beings in the UK and Sweden (Tauni and Österlund 2000, Pennycott and others 2006, Hughes and others 2008, Philbey and others 2008, 2009). Salmonellosis in wild finches in the UK is related to congregation of birds around feeding tables in gardens in the cooler months of the year (Pennycott and others 2006). Cats are thought to become infected with wild bird strains of S Typhimurium by catching small birds at these feeding stations (Philbey and others 2008), but a direct link between salmonellosis in birds and cats has not been demonstrated. This short communication describes a study to investigate the occurrence of Salmonella species in wild birds, cats and the environment in a domestic setting.

The study site comprised a household and two adjoining village gardens in Lennoxtown, near Glasgow, with three human occupants and two male neutered domestic shorthair cats (cat 1: five years old; cat 2: 10 years old). Feeders containing mixed seed, niger seed, peanuts or fat were provided at two feeding sites in each of the gardens. Sick birds were observed in both gardens over an eight-week-period from late December 2008 to early February 2009 (Fig 1a). During this period, …

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