Low Occurrence of Salmonella spp. in Wild Animals in Bahia, Brazil—Population Assessment and Characterization in the Caatinga and Atlantic Forest Biomes
Journal Contribution - Journal Article
Salmonella spp. are known to persist in the environment. Wild animals are believed to act as important reservoirs, with antimicrobial resistance frequently occurring in the environment. However, little is known about the role of the wildlife in Bahia as a reservoir for Salmonella in Brazil. This study aimed to isolate and characterize Salmonella spp. from wildlife in the Atlantic Forest and Caatinga biomes considering indicators such as the animal species, degree of anthropization, sampling area, and feeding habits. Convenience wildlife sampling and characterization were conducted, followed by microbiological and molecular identification of Salmonella isolates, serotyping, and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. A total of 674 fecal samples were collected from 12 municipalities during 2015-2021, and 4 were positive for the following Salmonella species: Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serovar Agona ( n = 1), Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serogroup O:16 ( n = 2), and Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Muenchen ( n = 1). Antimicrobial susceptibility analysis revealed that one isolate was resistant to six antibiotics, including extended-spectrum penicillins and beta-lactamase inhibitors. These results indicated a low frequency of Salmonella spp. in the sampled forest fragments. The presence of Salmonella in wild animals increases the risk to public health and biodiversity and indicates that they can act as sentinels of environmental contamination or indicators of preservation.