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Prevalence of Salmonella Typhimurium infection in Norwegian hedgehog populations associated with two human disease outbreaks

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 July 2002

K. HANDELAND
Affiliation:
Section of Wildlife Diseases, National Veterinary Institute Oslo, PO Box 8156 Dep, N-0033 Oslo, Norway
T. REFSUM
Affiliation:
Section of Bacteriology, National Veterinary Institute Oslo, PO Box 8156 Dep, N-0033 Oslo, Norway
B. S. JOHANSEN
Affiliation:
Stensåsveien 20B, N-4846 Arendal, Norway
G. HOLSTAD
Affiliation:
Section of Bacteriology, National Veterinary Institute Oslo, PO Box 8156 Dep, N-0033 Oslo, Norway
G. KNUTSEN
Affiliation:
National Veterinary Institute Bergen, Bontelabo 8, N-5003 Bergen, Norway
I. SOLBERG
Affiliation:
National Veterinary Institute Sandnes, PO Box 295, N-4303 Sandnes, Norway
J. SCHULZE
Affiliation:
National Veterinary Institute Trondheim, Tungasletta 2, N-7485 Trondheim, Norway
G. KAPPERUD
Affiliation:
Division of Infectious Disease Control, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, N-0403 Oslo, Norway Section of Food Hygiene, The Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, PO Box 8146 Dep, N-0033 Oslo, Norway
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Abstract

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Faecal carriage of salmonella was investigated in 320 hedgehogs from Moss municipality in south-eastern Norway, Askøy, Bergen and Os municipalities in central-western Norway, and five municipalities in south-western and central Norway. The sampling in Moss was carried out 1 year after a human outbreak of salmonellosis, whereas the sampling in Askøy, Bergen and Os was carried out during a human outbreak. Both outbreaks were caused by Salmonella Typhimurium 4,5,12[ratio ]i[ratio ]1,2. No salmonella were detected in the hedgehogs from south-western (0/115) and central (0/24) Norway. Thirty-nine percent (39/99) of the animals sampled on Jeløy, and 41% (34/82) of those from Askøy, Bergen and Os, carried S. Typhimurium 4,5,12[ratio ]i[ratio ]1,2. The PFGE profile of isolates from hedgehogs and human beings were identical within each of the two outbreak areas. A significantly higher carrier rate of S. Typhimurium occurred among hedgehogs sampled at feeding places, compared to those caught elsewhere. The salmonella-infected hedgehog populations most likely constituted the primary source of infection during both of the human disease outbreaks, and the Norwegian hedgehog is suggested as a reservoir host of S. Typhimurium 4,5,12[ratio ]i[ratio ]1,2.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
2002 Cambridge University Press