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Thierfelder, S.; Schmitz, A.; Rinder, M.; Deutz, A. and Korbel, R. (2019): The occurrence of zoonotic bacteria in free-ranging waterfowl in Bavaria. In: Wiener Tierarztliche Monatsschrift, Vol. 106, No. 3-4: pp. 75-86

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Introduction Populations of wild geese have increased in Central Europe during the last years, with a concurrent increase in the contamination of lawns and agricultural fields by droppings. We aimed to determine the presence of important zoonotic bacteria such as Salmonella sp., Campylobacter sp. and Chlamydia sp. in the waterfowl of several representative regions of Bavaria and, consistent with the "one health" approach, to identify possible hazards for avian and human health and for the food safety of game meat. Material and Methods Between September 2015 and February 2017, 352 birds from Bavaria, mainly wild ducks and wild geese, were examined. 320 birds were bagged on hunts in ten districts and 32 were submitted to a veterinary clinic. 319 of them (294 cloacal swabs and 84 samples of inner organs) were tested for Salmonella sp. by enrichment methods and subsequent phenotypical differentiation. Real-time PCR was used on samples from 351 birds (324 cloaca) swabs and 101 organ samples) to detect Campylobacter jejuni, Campylobacter coli and Chlamydia sp. Results Salmonella enterica ssp. enterica serovar Enteritidis was detected in a single bagged duck (0.3 %). Campylobacter jejuni was identified in 9.4 % of bagged animals and in 6.5 % of clinical patients, whereas Campylobacter coli was not found in any bird. The rate of detection of Chlamydia sp. in hunted birds was 1.3 % and in clinical patients 9.7 %. We provide the first demonstration of the occurrence of Chlamydia abortus genotype 2 in Germany in a duck (Anatinae) and a goose (Anserinae). Conclusion Zoonotic bacteria in Bavarian waterfowl pose a low but not negligible threat to nature lovers and people who process and consume meat from free-ranging waterfowl, assuming that standard hygiene protocols are followed.

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