Influence of environmental factors and human activity on the presence of Salmonella Serovars in a Marine Environment

J. Martinez-Urtaza, M. Saco, J. De Novoa, P. Perez-Piñeiro, J. Peiteado, A. Lozano-Leon, O. Garcia-Martin

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The temporal and spatial distribution of Salmonella contamination in the coastal waters of Galicia (northwestern Spain) relative to contamination events with different environmental factors (temperature, wind, hours of sunlight, rainfall, and river flow) were investigated over a 4-year period. Salmonellae were isolated from 127 of 5,384 samples of molluscs and seawater (2.4%), and no significant differences (P <0.05) between isolates obtained in different years were observed. The incidence of salmonellae was significantly higher in water column samples (2.9%) than in those taken from the marine benthos (0.7%). Of the 127 strains of Salmonella isolated, 20 different serovars were identified. Salmonella enterica serovar Senftenberg was the predominant serovar, being represented by 54 isolates (42.5%), followed by serovar Typhimurium (19 isolates [15%]) and serovar Agona (12 isolates [9.4%]). Serovar Senftenberg was detected at specific points on the coast and could not be related to any of the environmental parameters analyzed. All serovars except Salmonella serovar Senftenberg were found principally in the southern coastal areas close to the mouths of rivers, and their incidence was associated with high southwestern wind and rainfall. Using multiple logistic regression analysis models, the prevalence of salmonellae was best explained by environmental parameters on the day prior to sampling. Understanding this relationship may be useful for the control of molluscan shellfish harvests, with wind and rainfall serving as triggers for closure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2089-2097
Number of pages9
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2004


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