Use of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis to characterize the heterogeneity and clonality of Salmonella serotype Enteritidis, Typhimurium and Infantis isolates obtained from whole liquid eggs.Int J Food Microbiol. 2009 Feb 15; 129(2):180-6.IJ
Salmonella is a well-documented pathogen known to occur in a wide range of foods, especially poultry products. The most frequently reported food-sources of human infection are eggs and egg products. In this study, in order to describe Salmonella contamination of egg products, 144 liquid egg samples were collected from 3 different egg-breaking plants during the 3 sampling periods. Salmonella detection was performed on raw samples stored at 2 degrees C for 2 days (D+2) and on pasteurised samples stored at 2 degrees C at D+2 and at shelf-life date. Salmonella was detected in 130 of the 144 raw egg samples collected and in 11 of the 288 pasteurised egg samples analysed. 740 Salmonella isolates were collected and serotyped: 14 serovars were demonstrated. A great diversity, particularly during summer, was noted. The dominant serovars were S. Enteritidis, S. Typhimurium and S. Infantis, mainly found in whole raw egg products. Typing of 325 isolates of S. Enteritidis, 54 isolates of S. Typhimurium and 58 isolates of S. Infantis was carried out by macrorestriction of the genomic DNA with XbaI and SpeI enzymes followed by pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). The Salmonella Enteritidis isolates could be grouped into 3 clusters. Cluster 1 was predominant at all 3 egg-breaking companies during the different sampling periods. This cluster seemed to be adapted to the egg-breaking plants. Cluster 2 was linked to plant 1 and cluster 3 to plant 3. Two main clusters of Salmonella Typhimurium were demonstrated. Cluster A was mainly found at plant 2 during autumn. Plant 3 was contaminated by all the Salmonella Typhimurium genotypes but in a more sporadic manner during the three seasons studied. Plant 1 seemed to be less contaminated by Salmonella Typhimurium than the others. Three clusters and 2 genotypes of Salmonella Infantis were shown. The main cluster, cluster alpha, consisted of 75% of the S. Infantis isolates and was mainly found during summer at plants 1 and 3. Plant 2 seemed to be less contaminated by S. Infantis. In this study, molecular typing demonstrated that, although certain clusters were common to all three companies, specific clusters, notably of S. Enteritidis were present at each plant.