Identifying emerging trends in antimicrobial resistance using Salmonella surveillance data in poultry in Spain

Transbound Emerg Dis. 2020 Jan;67(1):250-262. doi: 10.1111/tbed.13346. Epub 2019 Sep 13.


Despite of controls and preventive measures implemented along the food chain, infection with non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) remains one of the major causes of foodborne disease worldwide. Poultry is considered one of the major sources of NTS. This has led to the implementation of monitoring and control programmes in many countries (including Spain) to ensure that in poultry flocks infection is kept to a minimum and to allow the identification and monitoring of circulating NTS strains and their antimicrobial resistance (AMR) phenotypes. Here, we investigated the information from the monitoring programme for AMR in Salmonella from poultry in Spain in 2011-2017 to assess the diversity in phenotypic resistance and to evaluate the programme's ability to detect multi-resistance patterns and emerging strains in the animal reservoir. Data on serotype and AMR to nine antimicrobials obtained from 3,047 NTS isolates from laying hens (n = 1,060), broiler (n = 765) and turkey (n = 1,222) recovered during controls performed by the official veterinary services and food business operators were analysed using univariate and multivariate methods in order to describe host and serotype-specific profiles. Diversity and prevalence of phenotypic resistance to all but one of the antimicrobials (colistin) were higher in NTS from broiler and turkey compared with laying hen isolates. Certain combinations of serotype and AMR pattern (resistotype) were particularly linked with certain hosts (e.g. susceptible Enteritidis with laying hens, multi-drug resistant (MDR) Derby in turkey, MDR Kentucky in turkey and broiler). The widespread presence of certain serotype-resistotype combinations in certain hosts/years suggested the possible expansion of MDR strains in the animal reservoir. This study demonstrates the usefulness of the analysis of data from monitoring programmes at the isolate level to detect emerging threats and suggests aspects that should be subjected to further research to identify the forces driving the expansion/dominance of certain strains in the food chain.

Keywords: Non-typhoidal Salmonella; antimicrobial resistance; foodborne; monitoring; poultry; serotype Kentucky.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Chickens / microbiology*
  • Disease Reservoirs / microbiology
  • Disease Reservoirs / veterinary
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial*
  • Female
  • Phenotype
  • Poultry
  • Poultry Diseases / epidemiology
  • Poultry Diseases / microbiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Salmonella / drug effects
  • Salmonella / immunology*
  • Salmonella / isolation & purification
  • Salmonella Infections, Animal / epidemiology
  • Salmonella Infections, Animal / microbiology*
  • Serogroup
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Turkeys / microbiology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents