Eurasian griffon vultures carry widespread antimicrobial resistant Salmonella and Campylobacter of public health concern

Johan Espunyes Nozieres*, Lucía Illera, Andrea Dias-Alves, Lourdes Lobato Bailon, Maria Puig Ribas, Alicia Manzanares, Teresa Ayats, Ignasi Marco, Marta Cerdà-Cuéllar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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The global emergence of antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) strains of Salmonella and Campylobacter is a serious public health concern. Both bacteria are leading causes of human gastrointestinal foodborne infections and the two most reported zoonoses in the European Union. By feeding on livestock carcasses, especially from intensive farming, as well as on landfill sites, obligate avian scavengers can become infected with zoonotic pathogens and AMR strains, and can be considered large-scale sentinels of the environmental burden. In this study, we assessed the occurrence and AMR of Salmonella spp. and Campylobacter spp. in 218 Eurasian griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) captured in north-eastern Spain. We isolated Salmonella from 8.1 % of individuals and Campylobacter lari from 4.7 %. Among the 10 different Salmonella serovars found, monophasic S. Typhimurium was the most frequent. Genotyping analysis revealed same strains of monophasic S. Typhimurium shared by gulls, livestock and humans. Isolates from both bacterial species presented AMR to important antimicrobials (tetracyclines, fluoroquinolones and β-lactams). In conclusion, this study shows that Eurasian griffon vultures in north-eastern Spain are carriers of widespread AMR zoonotic Salmonella and Campylobacter. More comprehensive analyses are still needed to understand the potential risk of spill-over from those wild birds to humans.

Original languageEnglish
Article number157189
Pages (from-to)157189
JournalScience of the total environment
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2022


  • Animals
  • Animals, Wild
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology
  • Bacteria
  • Birds/microbiology
  • Campylobacter
  • Humans
  • Public Health
  • Salmonella


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