Etiology:  Salmonella are Gram-negative, toxin-producing, invasive, enteric bacteria. The most common serotype of Salmonella enterica to infect rats are serovars Enteriditis and Typhimurium.

Transmission:  The disease is spread by fecal-oral transmission.  Food, water, and bedding may be contaminated by infected feces.

Public Health Significance:  Humans ingesting Salmonella contaminated food or water may experience a transient diarrhea.  Children or immunocompromised adults may experience more severe disease [1]. The disease in humans is reportable.

Please see rat Bacterial Diseases for more detailed information.

1.            Outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella typhimurium associated with rodents purchased at retail pet stores–United States, December 2003-October 2004. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep, 2005. 54(17): p. 429-33.