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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 Oct;78(20):7347-57. Epub 2012 Aug 10.

Human infections attributable to the D-tartrate-fermenting variant of Salmonella enterica serovar Paratyphi B in Germany originate in reptiles and, on rare occasions, poultry.

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Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, National Reference Laboratory for Salmonella, Berlin, Germany.


In this study, the population structure, incidence, and potential sources of human infection caused by the d-tartrate-fermenting variant of Salmonella enterica serovar Paratyphi B [S. Paratyphi B (dT+)] was investigated. In Germany, the serovar is frequently isolated from broilers. Therefore, a selection of 108 epidemiologically unrelated S. enterica serovar Paratyphi B (dT+) strains isolated in Germany between 2002 and 2010 especially from humans, poultry/poultry meat, and reptiles was investigated by phenotypic and genotypic methods. Strains isolated from poultry and products thereof were strongly associated with multilocus sequence type ST28 and showed antimicrobial multiresistance profiles. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis XbaI profiles were highly homogeneous, with only a few minor XbaI profile variants. All strains isolated from reptiles, except one, were strongly associated with ST88, another distantly related type. Most of the strains were susceptible to antimicrobial agents, and XbaI profiles were heterogeneous. Strains isolated from humans yielded seven sequence types (STs) clustering in three distantly related lineages. The first lineage, comprising five STs, represented mainly strains belonging to ST43 and ST149. The other two lineages were represented only by one ST each, ST28 and ST88. The relatedness of strains based on the pathogenicity gene repertoire (102 markers tested) was mostly in agreement with the multilocus sequence type. Because ST28 was frequently isolated from poultry but rarely in humans over the 9-year period investigated, overall, this study indicates that in Germany S. enterica serovar Paratyphi B (dT+) poses a health risk preferentially by contact with reptiles and, to a less extent, by exposure to poultry or poultry meat.

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