Etiology: Salmonella enterica causes enteritis in gerbils. Salmonella are Gram-negative, toxin-producing, invasive, enteric bacteria. The most common serotype of Salmonella enterica to infect gerbils is serovar 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 . The disease in humans is reportable.
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.