Environmental persistence and virulence of Salmonella spp. Isolated from a poultry slaughterhouse
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Salmonella spp. is responsible for severe foodborne disease, and is one of the main agents involved in foodborne outbreaks worldwide. Contamination occurs mainly as a result of poultry and egg consumption since they can carry some serotypes pathogenic to humans. The aim of the study was to evaluate the persistence and pathogenic potential of Salmonella spp. (n = 40) isolated from poultry slaughterhouse mats, using adhesion and invasion assays, antimicrobial susceptibility by disc diffusion, and biofilm production as phenotypic tests and genotypic analyses. Polystyrene mats presented 3.2 times greater chance of isolating Salmonella than canvas mats. Besides, we observed resistance to tetracycline (17.5%), ampicillin (10%), cefotaxime (7.5%), trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (5%), and chloramphenicol (2.5%). All strains possessed the invA, sipB, sipD, ssaR, sifA, sitC, iroN, tolC, flgK, fljB, and flgL genes. The genes sopB and sipA were both present in 92.5% of the isolates, while sopD and spvB were observed in 90% and 32.5% of strains, respectively. All strains adhered to and invaded HeLa cells. Regarding biofilm production, 31 (77.5%) strains were able to produce biofilm on polystyrene microplates. Using PFGE, we detected the persistence of clones in the environment for up to 18 from the 20 weeks. The ability of these strains to produce a biofilm and thus persist in the environment and disperse through contact surfaces in the processing plant favors the contamination of food, aggravated by the pathogenic potential of these isolates demonstrated by their adhesion capacity, invasion and resistance to various antibiotic agents.
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