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Salmonella enterica recovery from river waters of the Maryland Eastern Shore reveals high serotype diversity and some multidrug resistance

Callahan, Mary Theresa, Van Kessel, Jo Ann, Micallef, Shirley A.
Environmental research 2019 v.168 pp. 7-13
Salmonella enterica, amoxicillin, antibiotic resistance, autumn, biogeography, cefoxitin, ceftriaxone, genes, irrigation, multiple drug resistance, polymerase chain reaction, recreation, risk, river water, rivers, salmonellosis, serotypes, spring, streptomycin, sulfisoxazole, surface water, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia
The Delmarva Peninsula, a major agricultural and recreational region for the U.S. states of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, experiences recurrent salmonellosis disease. Previous studies point to water environments as a potential persistent environmental reservoir of Salmonella enterica. To evaluate this hypothesis, water from the four main rivers of the Maryland Eastern Shore on the Delmarva Peninsula was tested for the presence of S. enterica, and recovered isolates were characterized for antimicrobial resistance. Sampling was performed in autumn and spring to evaluate temporal persistence at twenty four sites along the Choptank, Nanticoke, Pocomoke and Wicomico Rivers. Water (10 L) was filtered through sterile modified Moore swabs in situ. Swabs were selectively enriched for S. enterica and presumptive salmonellae were confirmed by PCR amplification of the Salmonella-specific invA and hilA genes. The serogroup of 402 isolates was determined, followed by serotype characterization for 157 isolates selected to represent all the identified serogroups across all samples. S. enterica was isolated from all the rivers in both seasons and was detected in 35/46 (65%) of surface water samples, with equivalent recovery in spring (70%) and fall (61%). The likelihood of isolating S. enterica was higher for the Nanticoke and Pocomoke Rivers, χ2 (3, N = 46) = 12.75, p < 0.01. In total, 18 serotypes of S. enterica were identified, and serotype diversity differed between the fall and spring samplings. Newport was the most frequently isolated serotype, both overall and in the fall, identified in 8/46 samples (17%). Typhimurium was the predominant serotype in spring. Some temporal and biogeographic patterns were observed in S. enterica recovery, but 6/18 serotypes were identified in both seasons. The majority (84%) of isolates were pan-susceptible, including all those tested from the Wicomico River (N = 19). Twenty five isolates (16%) from 9 samples were resistant to at least one antimicrobial, including serotypes Typhimurium, Newport, Litchfield, III 17:z10: e,n,x,z15, III 60:I and IV_40:z4: z32: -. Of the isolates that were resistant to a single antimicrobial (N = 12), resistance was to streptomycin or sulfisoxazole. Thirteen isolates were multidrug resistant, nine exhibiting resistance to ampicillin, sulfisoxazole, tetracycline, amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, cefoxitin and ceftriaxone, and four to sulfisoxazole and tetracycline. The widespread presence and diversity of S. enterica in Delmarva rivers are concerning given the frequent use of rivers and tributaries as a source of irrigation and for recreation. Future research should seek to determine specific point sources of S. enterica for surface river waters, and risks associated with acquisition of antimicrobial resistance traits.