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Prevalence of Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli O157 in a red deer herd (Cervus elaphus scoticus) in central Mexico

      ABSTRACT

      Objective

      The primary objective was to evaluate the prevalence of Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli O157 in feces of Cervus elaphus scoticus during summer and winter of 2015 to 2017. Additionally, the seasonality and environmental conditions were evaluated to investigate association with pathogen shedding.

      Materials and Methods

      Preliminary evaluation of Salmonella spp. detection was achieved by PCR-amplification of the invA, spvR, and sopB genes, whereas for E. coli O157, the eae and rfbE genes were amplified. Candidate genes with low limit detection were not used to evaluate the prevalence of target pathogens.

      Results and Discussion

      Red deer fecal samples (n = 89) were evaluated to detect invA and rfbE genes. The results showed that E. coli O157 prevalence was 0%, due to rfbE being absent; nevertheless, Salmonella spp. prevalence identified through the invA gene amplification was 56.2%, with the least prevalence during winter 2017. A positive correlation was observed between bacterial prevalence, atmospheric humidity, and temperature.

      Implications and Applications

      The results showed that E. coli O157 was not detected in the stool of captive red deer; however, Salmonella spp. were present. Therefore, good practices in food handling and hygiene are indispensable to avoid the emergence of foodborne diseases.

      Key words

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