Salmonellosis is an important zoonotic disease but little is known about the role that free-living animals play as carriers of this pathogen. Moreover, the primary route of infection in the wild needs to be elucidated. The aim of this study was to determine the source and the route of transmission of Salmonella enterica serovar Albany (S. Albany) infection in captive zoo wild animals in the Culiacán Zoo. A total of 267 samples were analyzed including 220 fecal samples from zoo animals, 15 fecal samples from rodents, 5 pooled samples each of two insects (Musca domestica and Periplaneta americana), and 22 samples of animal feed. We detected S. Albany in 28 (10.5%) of the samples analyzed, including in samples from raw chicken meat. Characterization of isolates was performed by serotyping and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. All isolates shared a single pulsed-field gel electrophoresis profile, indicating a possible common origin. These data suggest that the infected meat consumed by the wild felines was the primary source of infection in this zoo. It is likely that the pathogen was shed in the feces and disseminated by insects and rats to other locations in the zoo.
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