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Keywords:

  • Salmonella;
  • animals;
  • cats;
  • reptiles;
  • case–control;
  • Michigan

Summary

Salmonellosis is largely a major foodborne disease. However, contact with animals particularly reptiles, has been increasingly recognized as a risk factor for Salmonella infection among children. The major risk factors for salmonellosis in Michigan children have not been assessed. Therefore, we have evaluated the association between Salmonella infections and contact with animals among Michigan children aged ≤10 years by conducting a population-based case–control study. A total of 123 children with laboratory-confirmed Salmonella infections and 139 control children, who had not experienced symptoms of gastrointestinal illness during the month prior to the interviews, were enrolled. A multivariable analysis matched on age group revealed that children with Salmonella infections had reported more commonly than controls contact with reptiles [adjusted matched odds ratio (MOR) = 7.90, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.52–41.01] and cats (MOR = 2.53, 95% CI: 1.14–5.88). Results of this study suggest an association between salmonellosis and contact with cats and reptiles in Michigan children. Additional efforts are needed to educate caretakers of young children about the risk of Salmonella transmission through animal contact.