The aim of this study was to isolate Salmonella species and other enteric bacteria in rats cohabiting with poultry; in order to consider the potential role of rats in their transmissions to poultry and humans. Four hundred samples comprising 200 oral swabs and 200 anal swabs were collected from rats cohabiting with poultry from 5 local government areas in Ibadan. The samples were subjected to standard bacteriological analysis. A total of 228 Gram negative bacteria including 21 different species of both Lactose fermenters and non-Lactose fermenters were isolated. The identified organisms include: Salmonella subspecies 1, Salmonella Arizonae, Escherichia coli, Escherichia coli inactive, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Enterobacter cloacae, Enterobacter hormaechei, Enterobacter agglomerans, Enterobacter dissolvens, Enterobacter gergoviae, and Aeromonas hydrophila, Proteus mirabilis, Proteus vulgaris, Hafnia alvei, Morganella morganii biogp 1,Morganella morganii subspecies Siboni 1, Citrobacter diversus, Serratia liquefaciens, Pragia fontium and Providencia alcalifaciens. The organisms were identified using Oxoid Microbact GNB 24E® (MB24E) and accompanying computer software package (Oxoid Microbact®) 2000 version 2.03. Some of the isolated bacteria from rats’ cohabitating with poultry have been associated with diseases in poultry and humans. The findings therefore serves to create fresh awareness among poultry farmers and other stakeholders in the industry from the studied area, that rats do not only constitute physical threat in terms of destruction of infrastructures and feeding on poultry feeds, they also pose a great risk in terms of transmission of bacterial infection to poultry and men associated with poultry production. Possible measures to control rats’ infestations within poultry houses are highlighted.
Key words: Rats, poultry, co-habitating, Gram negative Bacteria.
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