Salmonella Infection in Reptiles and Amphibians in a Changing World pp. 163-172
Authors: (David L. Chambers, Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA)
Abstract: There is a lack of systemic evaluation of Salmonella in herpetofauna (amphibians and reptiles). Because of this, we still debate whether or not Salmonella is a natural member of their micro-flora. Regardless of its origin, herpetofauna are known carriers and potential source of infection to humans. Thus, the extent of its incidence warrants investigation. This review briefly summarizes these studies, with emphasis on more recent additions to the literature. Most attention will be directed towards proposing novel future directions of herpetofaunal Salmonella research – mainly under a conservation framework. For instance, anthropogenic alterations to habitats have been increasing in recent years. These alterations have the potential to act as stressors upon inhabitants. This suite of stressors is generally accepted as the cause of global herpetofaunal declines (particularly amphibians). These stressors are also altering the micro-communities associated with and within inhabitants. No studies have examined Salmonella infection changes in herpetofauna as a result of stress. Studies addressing changes in herpetofaunal Salmonella disease dynamics due to stress in altered habitats could provide useful data for disease ecologists, microbiologists, physiologists, and herpetologists alike.