Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Serratia spp

Contributor(s): Richard Walker




  • Family:Enterobacteriaceae.
  • Genus:serratia.


  • Named after Serafino Serrati, an Italian physicist.

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Clinical Effects



  • Environmental organism, opportunistic pathogen.


  • Multiplies in damp, shaded environments by binary fission.
  • Multiplies in the immunocompromised host.
  • May exchange plasmids with otherEnterobacteriaceae.


  • Contamination of wounds or other compromised sites.
  • Cause of nosocomial infections following environmental contamination.

Pathological effects

  • Associated with infection in immunosuppressed animals and humans.
  • Mastitis in cows.
  • Septicemia in chickens and immunosuppressed mammals, eg foals.
  • Infections in reptiles.


Control via chemotherapies


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Jores J et al (2004) Isolation of Serratia marcescens from an equine abortion in Germany. Vet Rec 154 (8), 242-244 PubMed.
  • Ewart S et al (1992) Serratia marcescens endocarditis in a horse. JAVMA 200 (7), 961-963 PubMed.
  • Young D R et al (1989) Serratia marcescens septicemia associated with infusion of an amino acid solution in two horses. JAVMA 195 (3), 340-342 PubMed.
  • Rigg D L et al (1987) Marsupialization of an abdominal abscess caused by Serratia marcescens in a mare. JAVMA 191 (2), 222-224 PubMed.
  • Colahan P T et al (1984) Serratia spp infection in 21 horses. JAVMA 185 (2), 209-211 PubMed.
  • Shaftoe S (1984) Serratia marcescens septicemia in a neonatal Arabian foal. Equine Vet J 16 (4), 389-392 PubMed.
  • Fox J G, Beaucage C M, Folta C A & Thornton G W (1981) Nosocomial transmission of Serratia marcescens in a veterinary hospital due to contamination by benzalkonium chloride. J Clin Microbiol 14 (2), 157-60 PubMed.