Molecular evidence for cross boundary spread of Salmonella spp. in meat sold at retail markets in the middle Mekong basin area

Dethaloun Meunsene, Thanaporn Eiamsam-ang, Prapas Patchanee, Ben Pascoe, Phacharaporn Tadee, Pakpoom Tadee

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The surrounding areas of the middle Mekong basin, particularly along the border between Thailand and Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), are high-risk areas for many livestock-associated foodborne illnesses, especially salmonellosis. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and characteristics of Salmonella spp. contamination in pork, beef and chicken meats sold at retail markets in the Thailand-Laos border area surrounding the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge I from January to May 2019. We focused on the prevalent serotypes, antimicrobial susceptibility profiles and the multilocus sequence type (MLST) genotypes of the collected Salmonella strains.

From a total of 370 meat samples collected, 63% were positive for Salmonella, with the prevalence of 73%, 60% and 56% from pork, beef and chicken meat samples, respectively. Of all the positive samples, 53 serotypes were identified. Of these, Salmonella enterica serovar London accounted for the majority (27%), followed by serovars Corvallis (14%), and Rissen (6%). Resistance against tetracycline was found at the highest frequency (50%), followed by ampicillin (35%) and sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim (28%). MLST revealed no evidence of shared genetic relatedness of Salmonella at retail sites among Thailand-Laos border zone. However, a diverse range of Salmonella genotypes were spread over the area. Besides, the persistence of the residential pathogen and sharing of the supply route within-country can be inferred.

Given the high levels of contamination of retail meats, regular disinfecting of all working areas and quality control checking at pre-retail stage must be applied to reduce the transmission of Salmonella and other foodborne pathogens to consumers. The findings of this study will make a significant contribution to the current understanding of Salmonella epidemiology to enhance food security in the region.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere11255
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2021


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