We determined how long Pasteurella multocida could survive in experimentally-exposed freshwater snails. Physa virginea were collected from the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, Glenn County, California (USA), an enzootic site for avian cholera. Exposure to water containing up to 107 P. multocida per ml did not produce observable changes or mortality in snails. A minimum of 84 P. multocida per snail was necessary for detection among the normal snail bacterial flora. When snails were exposed to P. multocida in vials containing 107 bacteria per ml, P. multocida was detected for up to 72 hours in snails. When uninoculated snails were placed in aquaria containing 106 P. multocida per ml, P. multocida was not detected within the snails; further, P. multocida was detected in the water for only 24 hours at this level. Based on these results, we propose that P. virginea is not an effective reservoir for P. multocida.
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Vol. 31 • No. 3