Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2021 Jul 20. doi: 10.1089/fpd.2021.0008. Online ahead of print.
The prevalence of Salmonella serovar 1,4,,12:i:- among diarrhea patients has increased considerably in many countries around the world, including China. However, the characterization of this serovar of human origin has been less reported from China. We characterized 76 isolates of Salmonella 1,4,,12:i:- gained from diarrhea patients from 2014 to 2018 in the Jiangsu Province of eastern China. These isolates fell into a single-sequence type (ST34) determined by multilocus sequence typing (MLST), and into 44 pulsed-field gel electrophoresis band patterns, with 1 pattern (JSSMM015) comprising 12 isolates (15.9%). By means of PCR-based assays, the seven prophage located virulence genes were detected in our Salmonella 1,4,,12:i:- isolates with a high rate of gipA, gtgB, sspH1, sspH2, sodC1, and gtgE (93.4-97.4%), and with a moderate rate of sopE (42.1%). In contrast, none of the five plasmid-borne virulence genes (spvC, pefA, mig5, rck, and srgA) was identified. We tested the isolates' susceptibility to 18 antibiotics of 9 categories using the VITEK 2 system. A high proportion (89.5%) of the isolates were multidrug resistant (MDR) strains with full resistance to cefazolin, cefotetan, amikacin, gentamycin, and tobramycin, followed by resistance to ampicillin (88.2%) and ampicillin/sulbactam (80.3%). The resistance to piperacillin/tazobactam, ceftazidime, cefepime, and levofloxacin was scarce (2.6-9.2%). Notably, an isolate from 2018 was resistant to carbapenems. blaTEM-1B and aac(6')-Ib-cr were the most common drug resistance genes presented in cephalosporin- and fluoroquinolone-resistant strains. All Salmonella 1,4,,12:i:- isolates were capable of forming biofilm, with 13.2% of them having strong ability. However, no association was indicated between the scale of biofilm formation ability and MDR. Our results indicate that the combination of these characteristics may together provide a selective and competitive advantage to those Salmonella 1,4,,12:i:- isolates, contributing to their increasing prevalence observed worldwide.