National Reference Laboratory for Salmonella

Celbridge, Ireland

National Reference Laboratory for Salmonella

Celbridge, Ireland
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Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium is a common zoonotic pathogen encountered in Irish pigs and the pork industry and its characterisation using highly discriminatory typing methods is necessary for epidemiological studies, outbreak investigation and control. Multiple locus variable number of tandem repeat analysis (MLVA), phage typing and antimicrobial susceptibility testing were applied to characterise 301 S. typhimurium isolates of porcine origin isolated from farms, slaughterhouses and pork meat producing plants in Ireland over a four-year period. 154 MLVA patterns were obtained compared to 19 phage types and 38 AMR patterns, and MLVA was particularly useful for discriminating isolates of the same phage type, e.g. DT104 and DT104b, or isolates that were Untypable or in the category of react with phage but does not conform to a recognised phage type (RDNC) by the phage typing method. Cluster analysis of MLVA profiles using a minimum spanning tree (MST) demonstrated two major clusters (I and II), which showed to have a clear association with phage types, cluster I associated to phage types DT104, U302 and DT120 and cluster II associated to DT193 and U288. The results of this present study showed that MLVA is highly discriminatory and permitted the identification of identical profiles among isolates obtained at different points of the pork food chain. The same MLVA profile was observed in some cases among isolates with different phage types. While this can be explained by the fact that some phage types are closely related, it also indicates that combining phage typing and MLVA enhances strain typing of S. typhimurium.

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