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Reports of Salmonella in Ducks and Geese

01 November 2012

The total number of VIDA submissions from ducks and geese in 2011 was slightly lower than in 2010, with 105 submissions from ducks (compared to 125 submissions in 2010) and 41 submissions from geese (compared to 56 submissions in 2010), according to the Veterinary Laboratory Agency.

Roughly three-quarters of the submissions from both species in 2011 were diagnostic.

There were no reports of Salmonella from geese in 2011. There have been very few reports of Salmonella from geese in recent years, with four incidents in 2010, two in 2009 and one report in both 2008 and 2007.

There were a total of 27 Salmonella incidents in ducks during 2011, which represents a 65.4 per cent decrease relative to 2010 (78 reports) and 91.1 per cent decrease relative to 2009 (303 reports). Reports from ducks represented 1.4 per cent of all Salmonella reports in 2011, compared with 3.5 per cent in 2010 and 16.9 per cent in 2009. Of the 27 reports, 24 occurred as a result of voluntary surveillance activity, two arose from ZO4 visits, and one was for diagnostic purposes. Twenty-two of the incidents arose from samples collected at the farm while the remaining five were from samples collected at hatcheries. The decline in Salmonella incidents in ducks that has been observed since 2009 may have resulted from changes in monitoring on commercial holdings.

A Duck Assurance Scheme (DAS) was launched at the 2010 Pig and Poultry Fair. It has been developed for duck producers who are keen to demonstrate their professionalism and high standards of production, and SAI Global are the designated inspection body for the scheme. The scheme is owned and administered by the British Poultry Council and is managed by an independently chaired Technical Advisory Committee. It covers all areas relating to quality and welfare in duck production: breeding, hatching, rearing, catching, transport, slaughter, free-range and table eggs, and includes guidance on control of Salmonella by means of biosecurity, farm hygiene and vaccination. However, there is no statutory monitoring for Salmonella in ducks or geese in Great Britain.

S. Typhimurium was the most commonly reported serovar from ducks in 2011, responsible for 48.1 per cent of all Salmonella incidents. However there was a 23.5 per cent reduction in the absolute number of reports of this serovar (13 incidents) compared with 2010 (17 incidents). Reports of S. Typhimurium had been increasing between 2007 and 2010. Most of the incidents in 2011 involved S. Typhimurium DT30 (seven incidents) or DT8 (five incidents), which are typical duck associated phage types, although there was also one incident of DT193. DT8 and DT30 were also responsible for the majority of incidents in 2010, while DT193 was last reported in 2009. The increase in reports of S. Typhimurium in 2010 and 2011 in part reflects trace-back investigations following an outbreak of human illness due to S. Typhimurium DT8 associated with the consumption of duck eggs, and also specific investigations within the duck industry.

S. Indiana was the most common serovar in ducks and geese between 2007 and 2010, responsible for over a third of incidents in each of those years. However, there were only three incidents of this serovar in ducks in 2011, which is an 89.3 per cent reduction relative to the number of reports of this serovar in ducks and geese in 2010 (28 incidents) and 97.5 per cent reduction relative to 2009 (118 incidents). Thus, although it was still the second most common serovar in 2011, it was responsible for only 11.1 per cent of Salmonella incidents in ducks.

The absolute frequency of most other serovars has also been declining since 2009. As a result, there were only single incidents of any serovar other than S. Indiana or S. Typhimurium in 2011. The most notable declines have involved S. Give, S. Hadar, S. Kedougou, S. Mbandaka and S. Orion and its variants. Prior to 2010, there were over 150 incidents of these five serovars combined each year, yet in 2011 there were no incidents of S. Give or S. Kedougou and only single incidents of the other three serovars. There were also no incidents of S. Havana in 2011 compared with three incidents in 2010.

There was a single incident of S. Enteritidis PT9b in 2011. There have been very few reports of this serovar from ducks and geese in recent years, with one S. Enteritidis incident in 2008 and 2009 and none in 2010. Phage type 9b is often associated with ducks and was also involved in the S. Enteritidis incidents in 2008 and 2009.

There were no reports of monophasic strains of S. Typhimurium from ducks in 2011. This follows a single incident of Salmonella 4,5,12:i:- in 2010 and an incident of Salmonella 4,12:i:- in 2008. In both instances, this was the first time these monophasic strains had been isolated from either ducks or geese in Great Britain.

There was one incident of S. Lexington in 2011, which had never previously been recorded from ducks or geese. There were also single incidents of S. Bredeney, S. Kottbus, S. Newport and S. Senftenberg in 2011.

Further Reading

You can view the full report by clicking here.

October 2012

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