The association of Salmonella enterica from aquatic environmental and clinical samples in Taiwan

Sci Total Environ. 2018 May 15;624:106-113. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.12.122. Epub 2017 Dec 14.


Salmonella is one of the most common pathogens of waterborne and foodborne disease-causing pathogens. In this study, we collected 172 surface water samples from Puzih River and Kaoping River between the years 2010 and 2011. Salmonella was detected in 31.7% (32/101) and 42.2% (30/71) of the samples from the two rivers, respectively. From these positive samples, 44 Salmonella isolates were obtained from these positive samples and were characterized using serotyping and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) genotyping. The isolates were found with 17 serovars and 32 PFGE patterns. Salmonella enterica Newport, Bareilly, Kedougou, Albany and subspecies IIIb 50:k:z were the five most common serovars in aquatic environmental Salmonella isolates. In addition, of the total clinical samples from Chiayi and Kaohsiung, 33.7% (60/178) Newport serovars were isolated. After conducting categorical analysis, we found that the serovar Newport was not uniformly distributed cross the cities. The serovar Newport was over-represented (p<0.001) among human isolates in Chiayi and Kaohsiung. To investigate the association between Salmonella isolates from aquatic environment and human samples, we compared the environmental PFGE patterns of the test samples with those of 2438 clinical isolates, obtained from 51 hospitals across the country between 2010 and 2011. Of the 32 PFGE genotypes of environmental isolates, 8 genotypes were identical to those of clinical samples. Serovar Newport isolates with PFGE patterns SNX.119 and SNX.183 obtained from Puzih River samples were also identified in human samples at a local hospital. These suggest that there is a link between environmental and human clinical Salmonella. Identification of Salmonella serovars and genotypes present in surface water provides an indication of the specific S. enterica serovars and genotypes present in humans. This is the first study to investigate the Salmonella serovars and genotypes present in aquatic environment and humans in Taiwan.

Keywords: Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis; Salmonella; Water contamination.

MeSH terms

  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Rivers / microbiology*
  • Salmonella enterica / genetics
  • Salmonella enterica / isolation & purification*
  • Taiwan
  • Water Microbiology*