Investigation and characterization of the frozen feeder rodent industry in Texas following a multi-state Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak associated with frozen vacuum-packed rodents. Academic Article uri icon


  • A multi-state outbreak investigation of Salmonella Typhimurim cases associated with pet snakes and the frozen vacuum-packed rodents used to feed them identified a Texas frozen feeder rodent facility (Supplier A) as the source of the Salmonella-infected frozen rodents. Texas authorities collected samples directly from Supplier A. Seven Salmonella-positive samples out of 49 environmental swabs were found and one adult mouse out of 88 frozen feeder rodents was Salmonella-positive by culture. No Salmonella strains were isolated from rodent feeds. The pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) subtype patterns of S. Typhimurium isolates from feeder rodent and environment samples were indistinguishable from the outbreak strain isolated from humans. A follow-up investigation was performed on all additional feeder rodent facilities identified in Texas. Salmonella was isolated at one of four facilities; seven of 100 rodent samples were positive for Salmonella at this facility. The serotype S. I 4,[5],12:i:- was isolated from seven feeder rodent samples, and PFGE patterns of the seven isolates were indistinguishable. As observed in the initial outbreak investigation, no Salmonella were cultured from rodent feeds at any of the facilities. The feeder rodent industry is an insufficiently recognized industry in the United States. Outbreak investigation and testing of additional feeder rodent facilities in Texas indicate that further evaluation of feeder rodent facilities as a source of Salmonella for pet snakes and humans is warranted.

published proceedings

  • Zoonoses Public Health

author list (cited authors)

  • Lee, K. M., McReynolds, J. L., Fuller, C. C., Jones, B., Herrman, T. J., Byrd, J. A., & Runyon, M.

citation count

  • 15

complete list of authors

  • Lee, KM||McReynolds, JL||Fuller, CC||Jones, B||Herrman, TJ||Byrd, JA||Runyon, M

publication date

  • October 2008