Sammy Salmonella was created on a Muller Hinton Agar using three different isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus for the outline. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the only species of Pseudomonas that will produce pyocyanin, which is what creates Sammy’s green color. These bacteria are found naturally in the environment, especially in lakes, ponds, and soil. They are also found in insufficiently cleaned pools or hot tubs, making them a major cause of swimmer’s ear. While it may produce a fun and vibrant color, Pseudomonas infections can be problematic and many have been known to be Multi-Drug Resistant Organisms (MDROs).
Sammy was named after the bacteria Salmonella since, like many reptiles and amphibians, Salmonella species are part of a turtle’s normal flora. Although Salmonella species have no effect on Sammy, these bacteria can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps in humans. In addition, if a Salmonella infection moves from a human’s intestines to his or her blood stream it can be fatal, so remember to wash your hands after touching a turtle!