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Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 2000 Jul;78(1):99-106.

Occurrence of Salmonella spp in estuarine and coastal waters of Portugal.

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UCTA, University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal.


The presence of Salmonella and its relationship with indicator organisms of fecal pollution, such as total coliforms, fecal coliforms and fecal streptococci, was studied at two marine zones in Portugal. Seventeen different Salmonella serotypes were isolated and identified, S. virchow was the most frequently isolated (21.6%). In addition, a high percentage (35.1%) was recorded for some Salmonella serotypes of clinical significance, namely S. enteritidis, S. infantis, S. typhimurium and S. virchow. In any of the samples from the two zones Salmonella was not detected in the absence of any of the indicator organisms. However, the incidence of Salmonella as a function of indicator concentration intervals established by the EEC standards was 0, 10 and 19.3% at guide values of total coliforms, fecal coliforms and fecal streptococci, respectively in the Faro samples (south of Portugal). In contrast, Salmonella incidence rates of 37.5, 36.4 and 33.3% were recorded at the corresponding guide values the Caminha samples (north of Portugal). No significant correlations (p>0.005) were obtained between Salmonella and the indicators at the sampling stations; however, total coliforms and fecal streptococci were the indicators most closely related to Salmonella in Caminha and Faro samples, respectively. Survival experiments in Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis and S. typhimurium, using diffusion chambers, were performed to verify whether the lack of correlation between indicators and Salmonella was due to different inactivation rates in seawater. The results indicate that survival percentages of the three microorganisms tested were similar after 48 h of exposure to seawater.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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