Master of Science (MS)


Biomedical and Veterinary Medical Sciences - Veterinary Clinical Sciences

Document Type



Turtle-associated salmonellosis was recognized as a public health concern in the 1960’s, particularly due to an increase in the incidence of disease among children. In response to the public health threat, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) implemented regulations in 1975 restricting the sale of turtle eggs and turtles with a carapace length less than 10.2 cm. Since that time, attempts to eliminate Salmonella from turtles using antibiotics have been unsuccessful and lead to antibiotic resistant strains of Salmonella on turtle farms. Recent work has focused on identifying non-antibiotic products to suppress or eliminate Salmonella and reverse the FDA regulations. Baquacil® and Sanosil® are commercial non-antibiotic, antimicrobial products. Eighty-four red-eared slider turtle hatchlings (Trachemys scripta elegans) were used to evaluate the efficacy of these products as a method to suppress Salmonella in the turtles’ habitats. The turtles were maintained individually in plastic containers that contained chlorinated tap water, chlorinated tap water and 10, 50, or 100 ppm Sanosil®, or dechlorinated tap water and 5, 10, or 50 ppm Baquacil®. Water samples from each container were collected twice weekly for two months, and the Salmonella status determined by standard microbiological culture, including delayed secondary enrichment (DSE). Water samples from containers with 50 ppm Baquacil® were less likely to be positive for Salmonella than those from the control group (p < 0.0001). Water samples from containers with 10 ppm Sanosil® were more likely to be positive for Salmonella spp. than those from the control group (p < 0.0001). The use of DSE significantly increased the recovery of Salmonella spp. from the water samples (p < 0.0001). The intestinal tracts of the turtles were cultured for Salmonella spp. at the conclusion of the study. There was no significant difference in the Salmonella status of the intestinal cultures from any of the turtles (p = 0.08). No gross or histopathologic lesions in the turtles were found to be associated with any of the Baquacil® or Sanosil® concentrations. A concentration of 50 ppm Baquacil® may be used to decrease the prevalence of Salmonella in the aquatic habitat of red-eared slider turtles.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Mark A. Mitchell