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Int J Food Microbiol. 2011 Dec 2;151(2):201-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2011.08.025. Epub 2011 Aug 31.

Investigation of Salmonella enterica in Sardinian slaughter pigs: prevalence, serotype and genotype characterization.

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1
Department of Animal Biology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Sassari, Via Vienna 2, 07100 Sassari, Italy. fpiras@uniss.it

Abstract

In order to improve the knowledge about the presence of Salmonella in pork meat in Sardinia (Italy), the prevalence and the sources of Salmonella at 5 pig slaughterhouses (slaughtered pigs and environment) were investigated and the isolates were characterised. A total of 462 samples were collected, 425 from pigs at slaughter and 41 from the slaughterhouse environment. Salmonella was isolated from 26/85 (30.5%) mesenteric lymph nodes, 14/85 (16.4%) colon contents, and from 12/85 (14.1%) carcasses and livers. Salmonella prevalence was 38% (8/21) in samples from surfaces not in contact with meat, and 35% (7/20) in those from surfaces in contact with meat. Thirty-one pigs were identified as carriers of Salmonella in lymph nodes and/or colon content, but of these, only 8 carcasses were positive. A total of 103 Salmonella isolates were serotyped and genotyped. Eight different serotypes were detected; the most common were S. Derby (44/103, 42.7%) and S. Typhimurium (24/103, 23.3%). The most prevalent S. Typhimurium phage type was DT193. Thirty-two isolates were found to be resistant to more than one antimicrobial (MDR). Pulse-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) permitted the resolution of XbaI macrorestriction fragments of the Salmonella strains into 20 distinct pulsotypes. Combined application of a plasmid profiling assay (PPA) and PFGE gave useful additional information to assist in tracing the routes of Salmonella contamination in abattoirs. To reduce Salmonella prevalence some preventive measures should be encouraged: the origin of infected slaughter animals should be identified and direct and cross-contamination of carcasses should be avoided by adhering to HACCP principles in association with good hygiene procedures (GHP).

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