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A Comparison of Non-Typhoidal Salmonella from Humans and Food Animals Using Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis and Antimicrobial Susceptibility Patterns
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    Salmonellosis is one of the most important foodborne diseases affecting humans. To characterize the relationship between Salmonella causing human infections and their food animal reservoirs, we compared pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and antimicrobial susceptibility patterns of non-typhoidal Salmonella isolated from ill humans in Pennsylvania and from food animals before retail. Human clinical isolates were received from 2005 through 2011 during routine public health operations in Pennsylvania. Isolates from cattle, chickens, swine and turkeys were recovered during the same period from federally inspected slaughter and processing facilities in the northeastern United States. We found that subtyping Salmonella isolates by PFGE revealed differences in antimicrobial susceptibility patterns and, for human Salmonella, differences in sources and invasiveness that were not evident from serotyping alone. Sixteen of the 20 most common human Salmonella PFGE patterns were identified in Salmonella recovered from food animals. The most common human Salmonella PFGE pattern, Enteritidis pattern JEGX01.0004 (JEGX01.0003ARS), was associated with more cases of invasive salmonellosis than all other patterns. In food animals, this pattern was almost exclusively (99%) found in Salmonella recovered from chickens and was present in poultry meat in every year of the study. Enteritidis pattern JEGX01.0004 (JEGX01.0003ARS) was associated with susceptibility to all antimicrobial agents tested in 94.7% of human and 97.2% of food animal Salmonella isolates. In contrast, multidrug resistance (resistance to three or more classes of antimicrobial agents) was observed in five PFGE patterns. Typhimurium patterns JPXX01.0003 (JPXX01.0003 ARS) and JPXX01.0018 (JPXX01.0002 ARS), considered together, were associated with resistance to five or more classes of antimicrobial agents: ampicillin, chloramphenicol, streptomycin, sulfonamides and tetracycline (ACSSuT), in 92% of human and 80% of food animal Salmonella isolates. The information from our study can assist in source attribution, outbreak investigations, and tailoring of interventions to maximize their impact on prevention.

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