Etiology: Salmonella enterica is Gram-negative, lactose-negative, aerobic, non-lactose fermenting, H2S producing rod. Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and S. enterica serovar Enteritidis have been isolated.
Incidence: Incidence of infection is rare.
Transmission: Salmonella is transmitted by ingestion through direct contact with contaminated feces, food, or fomites.
Clinical Signs: Acute disease is characterized by anorexia, fever, dehydration, diarrhea (hemorrhagic), death, and abortions. Rabbits that recover from acute disease are asymptomatic shedders.
Pathology: Lesions are consistent with those of septicemia and include polyserositis, miliary hepatic necrosis, splenomegaly with necrosis, erosive enteritis and lymphadenitis. Pneumonia and purulent metritis may be present in breeding animals.
Diagnosis: Definitive diagnosis is made by isolation of the bacteria through culture of blood, spleen, mesenteric lymph nodes, and feces on selective media (brilliant green, selenite, citrate, or Hektoen).
Public Health Significance: Man can contract Salmonella from infected rabbits.