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 VI the salmonellosis

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Nombre de messages : 243
Localisation : Paris
Date d'inscription : 02/11/2005

MessageSujet: VI the salmonellosis   Mer 7 Déc à 4:37

Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.

If you ask the average lay person if there are any risks in owning a pet turtle or other reptile, the one that is most commonly mentioned is Salmonella bacteria. Most, if not all, reptiles carry Salmonella in their intestinal tract and intermittently or continuously shed these bacteria in their feces. Studies have shown that 85% of all turtles, 77% of lizards, and 92% of snakes carry one of the 500 serotypes of Salmonella. Salmonella usually do not cause any illness in reptiles, but can cause serious illness in people.

Salmonella bacteria are easily spread from reptiles to humans. For Salmonella to spread from reptiles to humans, the bacteria must be ingested. This most often occurs when humans place their hands on the reptile or objects that have been in contact with the stool of reptiles; then they place their hands in their mouths, or on objects or food they put in their mouths, and can become infected. For example, infants have become infected after drinking from bottles of infant formula that became contaminated during preparation. Individuals who prepared the formula had not washed their hands after touching a reptile or reptiles were allowed to walk on kitchen counters. Simply touching or holding a reptile will not result in spread of bacteria unless something contaminated with reptile feces is placed in the mouth.

Most healthy humans come in contact with Salmonella and a whole host of disease-causing organisms on a daily basis, but because they have a healthy immune system and they come into contact with relatively small numbers of organisms, they do not contract the disease. Those humans who become infected with Salmonella usually have a mild, self-limiting illness characterized by diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. However, the infection can spread to the bloodstream, bone marrow or nervous system, leading to severe, and sometimes fatal, illness. Such severe infections are more likely to occur in infants and in individuals whose immune systems are compromised (for instance, bone marrow transplant recipients, persons with diabetes mellitus, persons infected with the human immunodeficiency virus, and chemotherapy patients).

Unfortunately, Salmonella bacteria cannot be eliminated from the intestinal tract of reptiles. Administration of antibiotics to eliminate these bacteria has been unsuccessful and may result in emergence of Salmonella bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. Attempt to raise or identify reptiles that do not carry Salmonella bacteria have also been unsuccessful; therefore, bacterial culture of stool samples in an attempt to identify reptiles that are not carrying Salmonella bacteria is not recommended.

Fortunately, by following some good common hygiene practices and avoiding contact with the feces of these animals as much as possible, we can easily prevent the spread of Salmonella. These basic preventive recommendations include:

- Wear disposable gloves or wash your hands thoroughly with hot, soapy water after handling reptiles, reptile cages and equipment, and the stool of reptiles.

- Do not allow reptiles to have access to the kitchen, dining room, or any other area in which food is prepared.

- Do not use the kitchen sink, kitchen counters, bathroom sinks or bathtubs to bathe reptiles or to wash reptile cages, dishes, or aquariums. Also, do not allow reptiles to have access to bathroom sinks and tubs or to any area where infants are bathed. Reptile owners may wish to purchase a plastic basin or tub in which to bathe or swim their reptiles.

- Waste water and fecal material should be disposed of in the toilet instead of the bathtub or household sink.

- Wash all food and water bowls and equipment with hot soapy water and disinfect with a chlorhexidine or household bleach solution (remember to rinse all disinfected utensils with clean water before using).

- Do not eat, drink, or smoke while handling reptiles, reptile cages, or reptile equipment. Do not kiss reptiles or share food or drink with them.

- Consider keeping your reptiles caged or limiting the parts of the house where reptiles are allowed to roam free. Always wash your hands after coming into contact with any area where reptiles are allowed to roam free.

- Pregnant women, children, elderly or frail adults, or immunosuppressed people are particularly at risk of infection or serious complications of salmonellosis. At a minimum, they need to take extra precautions; ideally, they should avoid contact with reptiles.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that children less than five years of age avoid contact with reptiles and that households with children less than one year of age not own reptiles. Families expecting a new child should remove the pet reptile from the home before the infant arrives. The Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians encourage reptile owners with young children to discuss steps to minimize risks associated with owning reptiles with their reptile's veterinarian and their physician. Children should be supervised when they are handling reptiles to ensure that they do not place their hands or objects that a reptile has contacted in their mouths. Reptiles should not be kept in child care centers.

- Do not use the same equipment for your animals that you use for yourself.

- Follow instructions from your reptile's veterinarian concerning proper diet and environment for your reptile. Healthy reptiles living in proper environments are less likely to shed Salmonella bacteria.
These recommendations are not meant to discourage reptile ownership. If these basic precautions and good common sense are observed, the risk of contracting Salmonella from a reptile is very low, with a few exceptions, such as infants or immunocompromised individuals. Reptiles can be safely kept as pets, but reptile owners should be aware of the methods for reducing their risk of acquiring Salmonella bacteria from their reptiles.

Enjoy the reptile and remember that good hygienic practices are one of the best things you can do to protect yourself and your reptile from a whole host of infectious diseases.


Commentaires: cet article est d'une importance extrème. J'invite tout les membre a le lire attentivement. Je travaille sur une traduction. En attendant, voici un article médical sur la salmonelle chez l'Homme:


Les Salmonelles, bactéries de la famille des entérobactéries, sont une des principales causes de maladie bactérienne d’origine alimentaire dans les pays développés. Elles se manifestent, chez l’homme, par des cas sporadiques, des toxi-infections alimentaires collectives ou des épidémies communautaires.

Après une période d’incubation de 12 à 36 heures en moyenne, les signes cliniques observés sont une entérocolite aiguë avec apparition brutale de douleurs abdominales, de diarrhée, de nausées, de vomissements, de fièvre et de céphalées. La maladies touche plus fréquemment et plus sévèrement les enfants, les personnes âgées et les personnes immunodéprimées.

La transmission de la bactérie à l’homme se fait, en premier lieu, par la consommation d’aliments d’origine animale contaminés et consommés crus ou peu cuits (viandes, œuf ou lait) et plus rarement par celle de fruits frais ou de légumes crus contaminés par des fécès animales. La transmission inter-humaine, liée à des défaillances des mesures d’hygiène, n’est pas rare.


En France, la surveillance des salmonelloses repose sur plusieurs systèmes complémentaires :

le Centre National de Référence des Salmonella et Shigella (CNRSS), Institut Pasteur, Paris qui reçoit pour sérotypage les souches de Salmonella, isolées par environ un tiers des laboratoires hospitaliers et privés d’analyses et de biologie médicale (LABM). L’analyse des tendances annuelles et mensuelles, régionales et départementales et l’élaboration de seuils d’alerte permet de détecter des augmentations anormales du nombre de souches pour un sérotype donné. Déclaration Obligatoire (DO) des Toxi-Infections Alimentaires Collectives (TIAC). Les TIAC doivent être obligatoirement déclarées à la Direction Départementale des Affaires Sanitaires et Sociales (DDASS) ou aux services vétérinaires départementaux (DSV), qui sont chargés de leur investigation. La surveillance vétérinaire, à laquelle participent 200 laboratoires, qui transmettent des souches isolées chez les animaux, dans des aliments et dans l’environnement. Ces souches sont étudiées au Laboratoire Central d’Hygiène Alimentaire (Agence Française de Sécurité des Aliments (AFSSA), Maisons-Alfort).
En France en 2000, 12 883 souches de Salmonella d’origine humaine ont été enregistrées au CNRSS. Parmi ces souches, les sérotypes Enteritidis et Typhimurium représentent respectivement 36% et 29% des isolements. Depuis 1998, le nombre d’isolements humains de tous les sérotypes de Salmonella (Enteriditis, Typhimurium, Virchow, Hadar etc) a diminué (lire le BEH n°12/2001).

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