Food Res Int. 2021 Apr;142:110198. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2021.110198. Epub 2021 Feb 5.
Salmonella is a major foodborne pathogen worldwide, causing serious cases of morbidity and mortality due to the consumption of contaminated foods. Animal-borne foods were considered the main source of transferring Salmonella to humans; however, route surveillance by genomic platforms along the food-chain is limited in China. Here, we proceeded to the application of whole genome sequencing in the epidemiological analysis of Salmonella isolated along the food-chain in Xinjiang, China. A total of 2408 samples were collected from farms, slaughterhouses, and markets, and subjected to the isolation of Salmonella strains. 314 (13.04%) of the samples were positive for Salmonella. Phenotypic antimicrobial resistance was conducted by the broth dilution method using 14 antimicrobial agents belonging to ten classes for all 314 isolates. A selection of representative 103 isolates was subjected to whole-genome sequencing for understanding the Salmonella diversity, including serovars, antimicrobial and virulence genes, plasmid types, multi-locus sequence types, and allelic types. We found that S. Agona was the dominant serovar and O:4(B) was the dominant serogroup. The dominant genotype was ST13 and each serovar has a unique MLST pattern. Plasmids prediction reported Col(MGD2)_1 and Col(Ye4449)_1 as the dominant plasmids, in addition to the detection of IncFII(S)_1 and IncFIB(S)_1 carried by all S. Enteritidis isolates. Importantly, virulence genes prediction showed the presence of cdtB gene encoding typhoid toxins, spv genes, and pef gene cluster encoding fimbriae in the genomes of S. Indiana and S. Enteritidis. Phenotypic antimicrobial resistance identified 92.04% of the sampled isolates as multi-drug resistance (MDR), with high resistance to tetracycline (78.03%; 245/314), amoxicillin/ clavulanic acid (75.80%; 238/314), and ampicillin (70.70%; 222/314). Together, we firstly reported the prevalence of MDR Salmonella isolates harboring critical virulence factors transmission via animal-borne food-chain in Xinjiang, hence route surveillance by whole-genome sequencing platform could facilitate recognition and project early warning for the emerging MDR clones along the food-chain.