Citation Baily J, Foster G, Brown D, Davison N, Coia JE, Watson E, Pizzi R, Willoughby K, Hall AJ & Dagleish MP (2016) Salmonella infection in grey seals (Halichoerus grypus), a marine mammal sentinel species: pathogenicity and molecular typing of Salmonella strains compared with human and livestock isolates. Environmental Microbiology, 18 (3), pp. 1078-1087. https://doi.org/10.1111/1462-2920.13219
Abstract Microbial pollution of the marine environment through land–sea transfer of human and livestock pathogens is of concern.Salmonellawas isolated from rectal swabs of free-ranging and stranded grey seal pups (21.1%; 37/175) and compared with strains from the same serovars isolated from human clinical cases, livestock, wild mammals and birds in Scotland, UK to characterize possible transmission routes using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and multi-locus variable number of tandem repeat analyses. A higher prevalence ofSalmonellawas found in pups exposed to seawater, suggesting that this may represent a source of this pathogen.SalmonellaBovismorbificans was the most common isolate (18.3% pups; 32/175) and was indistinguishable from isolates found in Scottish cattle.Salmonella Typhimurium was infrequent (2.3% pups; 4/175), mostly similar to isolates found in garden birds and, in one case, identical to a highly multidrug resistant strain isolated from a human child.Salmonella Haifa was rare (1.1% pups; 2/175), but isolates were indistinguishable from that of a human clinical isolate. These results suggest thatS.Bovismorbificans may circulate between grey seal and cattle populations and that bothS.Typhimurium andS.Haifa isolates are shared with humans, raising concerns of microbial marine pollution.