Staphylococcal and Non-typhoidal Salmonella infection statuses in non-human mammals: A potential source of zoonoses in the Greater Accra region of Ghana

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Staphylococcal and Non-typhoidal Salmonella infection statuses in non-human mammals: A potential source of zoonoses in the Greater Accra region of Ghana

Authors

AMOAH, L. A. O.; Ameade, E. P. K.; Yeboah-Ofori, B.; Sampane-Donkor, E.; Bimi, L.

Abstract

Background: Bacterial zoonoses are readily transmitted from animals to humans and are thrice more likely to lead to emerging or re-emerging diseases. In Ghana, there is a paucity of animal-related bacterial infection surveillance data, significantly affecting how such diseases are accurately targeted for prevention or control. This study sought to investigate the prevalence of two important bacterial infections in some common animals found in two human-dominated landscapes and ascertain if their prevalence was of imminent public health concern. In most Ghanaian communities, dogs, cats and rodents are non-human mammals that are frequently in contact with humans. As such, they were targeted during this cross-sectional study. Methods: Biological samples collected from animals in households and veterinary institutions were processed using molecular techniques targeting Staphylococcus and Non-typhoidal Salmonella species. Additionally, medical records were sourced from three (3) major health institutions to determine if cases of bacterial zoonoses were of imminent concern. Results: Overall, the prevalence of staphylococcal and Non-typhoidal Salmonella infections were 72.5% and 22.8%, respectively. More animals from the urban areas tested positive for Staphylococcal ({chi}2=5.721 p=0.017) and Non-typhoidal Salmonella ({chi}2=16.151 p < 0.001) infections compared to those from the peri-urban areas. The medical records also revealed that relatively higher cases of staphylococcal infections were reported within three years (2018-2020), although no significant differences were observed between the urban and peri-urban areas. Conclusion: The high prevalence of staphylococcal infections in animals and the high number of hospital cases suggest increased exposure to this bacteria and a higher risk of persons residing in these areas to bacterial zoonoses. Data from the study also suggest that rodents are actively and inactively maintaining the cycle of these two bacterial species and as such, a source of concern. Findings underscore the need for active surveillance of bacterial species with zoonotic potential in non-human mammals regularly found in communities, which is fundamental to developing appropriate disease control strategies.

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