Characteristics and dynamics of Salmonella contamination along the coast of agadir, Morocco

I. Setti, A. Rodriguez-Castro, M.P. Pata, C. Cadarso-Suarez, B. Yacoubi, L. Bensmael, A. Moukrim, J. Martinez-Urtaza

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The occurrence of Salmonella enterica in the environment of tropical and desert regions has remained largely uninvestigated in many areas of the world, including Africa. In the present study, we investigated the presence of Salmonella spp. along 122 km of the coastline of Agadir (southern Morocco) in relation to environmental parameters. A total of 801 samples of seawater (243), marine sediment (279), and mussels (279) were collected from six sites between July 2004 and May 2008. The overall prevalence of Salmonella spp. was 7.1%, with the highest occurrence in mussels (10%), followed by sediment (6.8%) and seawater (4.1%). Only three serotypes were identified among the 57 Salmonella sp. strains isolated. S. enterica serotype Blockley represented 43.8% of all Salmonella strains and was identified in mussel and sediment samples. S. enterica serotype Kentucky (29.8%) was found almost exclusively in mussels, whereas S. enterica serotype Senftenberg (26.3%) was detected in sediment and seawater. Statistical analysis using generalized additive models identified seawater temperature, environmental temperature, rainfall, and solar radiation as significant factors associated with the presence of Salmonella. Rainfall was the only variable showing a linear positive effect on the presence of Salmonella in the sea, whereas the remaining variables showed more complex nonlinear effects. Twenty-eight (49.1%) Salmonella isolates displayed resistance to ampicillin (22 isolates), nalidixic acid (9 isolates), sulfonamide compounds (2 isolates), and tetracycline (1 isolate), with six of these isolates displaying multiple resistance to two of these antimicrobial agents. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analysis revealed homogenous restriction patterns within each serotype that were uncorrelated with the resistance pattern profiles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7700-7709
Number of pages10
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number24
Early online date9 Oct 2009
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009


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