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Overview of Salmonelloses in Poultry

By Sherrill Davison, VMD, MS, MBA, DACPV, Associate Professor, Laboratory of Avian Medicine and Pathology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Salmonella infections are classified as nonmotile serotypes (S Pullorum, S Gallinarum) and the many motile paratyphoid Salmonella. These Salmonella infections have a worldwide distribution. As a result of the institution of a testing and control program in the USA through the USDA-administered National Poultry Improvement Plan, the incidence of S Pullorum or S Gallinarum has decreased dramatically. Historically, S Arizonae was placed in its own category, but it is now included with the paratyphoid Salmonella. S Arizonae is an egg-transmiited disease primarily of young turkeys. In addition to the above nonmotile salmonellae, Salmonella paratyphoid infections in poultry are relatively common and have public health significance because of contaminated poultry product consumption.

S Pullorum and S Gallinarum are highly host-adapted to chickens and turkeys. There are >2,500 nonhost-adapted species (paratyphoid) that may be transmitted to almost all animals.