Salmonella arizonae



Arizonosis is a poultry disease caused by Salmonella enterica subspecies arizonae. These salmonellae show high specificity for poultry and reptiles with possible high economic losses in turkey production. S. arizonae usually causes few symptoms in mammals.



Host animals

poultry, especially turkeys, other bird species and reptiles

Infection route

Wild turkeys and, in warm regions, various reptile species are considered reservoirs. Infections in domestic poultry are mainly associated with entry via feed or via a contaminated production environment.

Incubation period

It has been experimentally demonstrated that Salmonella arizonae is shed via the intestine within a few hours of exposure, and thus chicks in the brooder can be directly infected via infected eggs.


When hatching eggs/chicks are infected, acute septicemia with reduced hatching rates, hatching of weak chicks, mortality of 10% to 50% in the first weeks of life are predominant, or the chicks show corneal opacities or nonspecific symptoms such as reduced feed intake, movement disorders, diarrhea, and convulsions. Adults, which may be latently infected, show nonspecific symptomatology such as decreased performance, diarrhea, and weakness.


The basis of control is the detection and eradication of salmonella carriers, rigorous rodent control and biosecurity measures.


Establishment and maintenance of pathogen-free stocks

Situation in Austria

Through consistent control, arizonosis has been suppressed in the EU and in Austria, and only isolated cases have occurred in recent years. The occurrence of Salmonella arizonae in poultry is notifiable in Austria according to the Poultry Hygiene Ordinance 2007.

Specialized information

Arizonosis is caused by Salmonella enterica subspecies arizonae (mainly serotype O18:Z4,Z23 and O18:Z4,Z32), gram-negative motile rod bacteria of the Enterobacteriacae family. Susceptible are mainly young turkeys, but infections have also been detected in other bird species (chickens, ducks, canaries, parakeets and wild birds). In arizonosis, vertical transmission from infected parents to hatching eggs results in reduced hatching rates (up to 70%) and hatching of life-weak chicks. Yolk sac regression is delayed, and acute septicemic infections occur in turkey poults up to 3 to 5 weeks of age. Mortality varies from 10% to 50% in the first weeks of life; chicks may become blind as a result of corneal opacity and accumulation of exudate in the eye.

Salmonella arizonae infection can result in permanent intestinal colonization with intermittent shedding in older birds, leading to contamination of hatching eggs and corresponding infections of hatching chicks. Adult turkeys show nonspecific symptoms such as decreased laying performance and reduced feed intake. As infection progresses, Salmonella arizonae can colonize ovaries and oviduct, resulting in the production of infected chicks. Other avian species and reptiles are usually subclinically infected.

In pathology, persistent yolk sacs, cloudy cornea, enlarged pale liver and spleen with pale foci, and fibrinous serositis with a high bacterial load of yolk sac, meninges, eyes, and ears are observed in chicks.


For definitive clarification, perform bacteriological isolation according to ISO 6579, Annex D with selective enrichment media from organ samples (liver, spleen, yolk sac, caecum) and environmental samples.


Institut für veterinärmedizinische Untersuchungen Mödling


Last updated: 10.10.2023

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