Salmonella enterica (nontyphoidal) is one of the major causes of foodborne diseases in the United States and worldwide. Molecular typing methods are significant tools used to better understand the transmission and ecology of Salmonella in order to implement pre-harvest control measures. The objectives of this study were to describe the Salmonella genotypes, the distribution of isolate subtypes from different ecological niches (i.e., barn environment, nursery, and individual pigs) and their evolution over time in a longitudinal study conducted in three finishing sites (housing pigs from 10 weeks of age until slaughter at 24-26 weeks of age). Among the 107 Salmonella isolates submitted for pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis, there were 25 distinct subtypes. PFGE genotyping results were consistent with the serotype findings. A large number of distinguishable PFGE patterns (i.e., within the same serovar) were observed and different combinations of subtypes were identified within and across sites and cohorts. New subtypes may result of the introduction of new strains, genetic changes, or ongoing transmission of evolved strains within the production system. The same subtypes were detected intermittently during the study period, which suggests the persistence of indistinguishable subtypes in this production system. In addition, this study suggests persistence of the same subtype over several cohorts of pigs and potential residual contamination from the barn. Factors affecting adaptation and transmission of Salmonella within and among ecological systems (e.g., finishing pigs, nursery, and environment) should be further investigated. Understanding genotypic diversity of Salmonella in different ecological niches during pre-harvest may contribute to the development of more targeted and cost effective control programs during nursery and finishing phases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
- Animal Science and Zoology