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Wild raptors as carriers of antimicrobial-resistant Salmonella and Campylobacter strains
  1. R. A. Molina-Lopez, DVM1,
  2. N. Valverdú2,
  3. M. Martin, DVM, PhD2,
  4. E. Mateu, DVM, PhD2,
  5. E. Obon, DVM1,
  6. M. Cerdà-Cuéllar, PhD3 and
  7. L. Darwich, DVM, PhD2
  1. Centre de Fauna Salvatge de Torreferrussa, Catalan Wildlife Service, Forestal Catalana, Spain
  2. Departament de Sanitat i Anatomia Animals, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), 08193 Bellaterra, Spain
  3. Centre de Recerca en Sanitat Animal (CReSA), UAB-Institut de Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimentàries (IRTA), Campus UAB, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Dr Darwich, e-mail: laila.darwich{at}
  • Dr Molina-Lopez is also at the Departament de Sanitat i Anatomia Animals, UAB, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain

  • Dr Martin, Dr Mateu and Dr Darwich are also at the CReSA, UAB-IRTA, Campus UAB, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain

  • Dr Cerdà-Cuéllar is also at the IRTA, Barcelona, Spain

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Salmonella and Campylobacter species are zoonotic bacteria of worldwide public health significance, causing considerable economic impact (Reilly and others 1981, Withington and Chambers 1997, Allos 2001). Domestic animals are considered to be the main carriers and source of infection for human beings and other animals (Minette 1984, Misawa and others 2000) and drug-resistant strains of Salmonella have been widely documented in domestic animals and human hospital settings (Gallardo and others 1999). However, the number of wildlife species acting as reservoirs is unknown. Salmonella infection has been reported in wild birds of prey (Refsum and others 2002, Reche and others 2003, Kocabiyik and others 2006) and Campylobacter species have been reported in wild geese, seagulls (Rosef 1981, Colles and others 2008) and in captive diseased birds from a zoological collection (Taema and others 2008). With regard to the wildlife population, characterisation of Salmonella and Campylobacter isolates would be useful in disease surveillance programmes and to gain insight into the epidemiology of zoonotic infections in wild animals.

This short communication describes the prevalence and antimicrobial susceptibility of Salmonella and Campylobacter isolates from 121 wild raptors admitted to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre of Torreferrussa in Catalonia (northern Spain) between October 2008 and March 2009. The population sampled comprised 69 per cent (83 of 121) diurnal raptors and 31 per cent (38 of 121) nocturnal species (Table 1). Sample collection was carried out on the day of admission and before housing in the hospitalisation cages. None of the birds was known to …

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