Etiology: Salmonella enterica is a Gram-negative, lactose-negative, aerobic, nonlactose fermenting, H2S producing rod. Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium has been shown to infect guinea pigs.
Incidence: Incidence of infection is rare.
Transmission: Salmonella is transmitted by ingestion through direct contact with contaminated feces, food or fomites.
Clinical Signs: Acute deaths are occasionally seen in very young, very old, or stressed animals. Diarrhea is not characteristic. Nonspecific depression, anorexia, weight loss and unthriftiness are commonly noted. Abortion storms have been reported.
Pathology: No lesions are apparent in acute cases, but carriers and chronically infected animals may have enlarged livers, spleens, and lymph nodes containing small, white, necrotic foci.
Diagnosis: Definitive diagnosis is made by isolation of the bacteria through culture of feces on selective media (brilliant green, selenite, citrate, or Hektoen).
Public Health Significance: Humans ingesting Salmonella – contaminated food or water experience a transient diarrhea. Children or immunosuppressed adults are susceptible to more serious clinical disease from Salmonella infection .
3. 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.