Phenotypic and genotypic characterization of temporally related nontyphoidal Salmonella strains isolated from humans and food animals in central Ethiopia.
Salmonella is one of the common causes of food-borne bacterial illnesses. The primary sources of human nontyphoidal Salmonella (NTS) infection are food animals. This study characterized temporally and spatially related Salmonella isolated during April 2013 to March 2014 from faeces of diarrhoeic human patients in Addis Ababa (n=68) and food animals (n=84) in Addis Ababa and surrounding districts (dairy cattle, n=30; slaughtered cattle, n=20; poultry, n=26; swine n=8). Isolates were serotyped, page typed and tested for antimicrobial susceptibility using Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion method, and genotyped by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). The dominant Salmonella serovars isolated from food animals were S. Saintpaul (38.1%), S. Typhimurium (17.9%) and S. Kentucky (9.5%), whereas in humans, S. Typhimurium (39.7%), S. Virchow (30.9%) and S. Kottbus (10.3%) were frequently isolated. Resistance to streptomycin, sulfisoxazole, tetracycline, ampicillin and cephalothin was higher in animal isolates than human isolates, and mean number of antimicrobials to which isolates were resistant was significantly higher in isolates from cattle and poultry compared to those from humans (p<0.05). All S. Kentucky isolated from animals and humans were multidrug resistant (MDR) with shared resistance phenotype (AmpCfCipTeSuSNa). Although this study involved small sample size and was not able to show clear epidemiological linkage among isolates from various sources, genotyping by PFGE analysis demonstrated circulation of closely related genotypes of S. Virchow, S. Typhimurium and S. Kentucky among humans and food animals. Detection of related Salmonella isolates from humans and animals, the high MDR status of isolates from animals and close proximity of farms and human residential areas in the absence of appropriate biosecurity present major public health problem. Integrated surveillance of Salmonella serovars in humans and animals and implementation of appropriate hazard analysis and pathogen control strategies along critical points of the food chain from farm to table is recommended.