Snakes poisoned at birth

Feb 23, 2006

Scientists in Germany have found that a significant route of transmission of Salmonella in non egg-laying snakes is from the mother to the offspring during pregnancy and birth.

One source of human Salmonella infection is associated with pet reptiles and these cases are often serious – sometimes causing septicaemia, meningitis or even death, especially among children and those at risk due to a compromised immune system.

A high percentage of snakes carry the food-poisoning bug Salmonella, but until this study we didn’t know whether the snakes became infected through eating contaminated food, or by another route.

Dr Matthias Schröter of the Institute of Public Health, Northrhine Westphalia in Germany said: “This study sheds light into the transmission of Salmonella. Recently there has been an increase in the number of cases of reptile-associated infection with Salmonella. It is important that people who handle snakes regularly or keep them as pets take appropriate precautions against becoming infected. This knowledge will help in the battle against the transmission of this sometimes fatal bug.”

Source: Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Explore further: New Hampshire bill requires cursive, multiplication tables

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

New Hampshire bill requires cursive, multiplication tables

7 hours ago

As schools adopt new education standards and rely more on computers in the classroom, a group of New Hampshire senators want to make sure the basics of learning cursive and multiplication tables don't get left behind.

Eastern Oregon dig uncovers ancient stone tool

7 hours ago

Archaeologists have uncovered a stone tool at an ancient rock shelter in the high desert of eastern Oregon that could turn out to be older than any known site of human occupation in western North America.

Professor takes madness out of the month

11 hours ago

With the NCAA Men's and Women's Basketballl Tournaments tipping off soon, brackets and bubble-busters are reaching a fever pitch. Dr. Jay Coleman, the Richard deRaismes Kip Professor of Operations Management and Quantitative ...

Seven strategies to advance women in science

13 hours ago

Despite the progress made by women in science, engineering, and medicine, a glance at most university directories or pharmaceutical executive committees tells the more complex story. Women in science can ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.