Salmonella septicaemia in a beauty snake

Case of beauty snake found dead with Salmonella septicaemia infection

source: S. Tellez et al
Veterinary Record vol 151 no 1, July 6 2002
starts p 28, 2 pages long

Salmonella species are often found in reptile intestines, and they may be carriers, ad suffer from minor infections. However, Salmonella species can also cause serious problems for reptiles, such as septicaemia and gastroenteritis. Malnutrition, stress, and poor husbandry can make reptiles more vulnerable to such infections, and the seriousness of the infection depends on how virulent the serotype is, the reptile's innate immunity, and the type of lesions resulting from the infection.

In this case, Madrid University researchers have studied a female beauty snake from a private collection of reptiles, which died suddenly, though she had not appeared to be ill. The snake was found to have renal congestion, nodules on the liver, and the small intestine showed haemorrhagic contents. The systemic infection was found to be the result of one S enterica strain of the houtenae subspecies, with isolates found in the gall bladder, liver and kidney. This subspecies is usually linked to septicaemia in lizards, not snakes. S enterica diarizonae isolates were also found in the snake's intestines.