ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0143.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: non-typhoidal Salmonella; ERIC-PCR typing; WGS; virulence-related genes; SPIs; Salmonella virulence plasmids; prophages
Online: 8 August 2022 (10:07:34 CEST)
In this work, we analysed human isolates of nontyphoidal Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica (NTS), which were collected from salmonellosis cases in Armenia from 1996 to 2019. This disease became a leading food-borne bacterial infection in the region, with the younger age groups especially affected. The isolates were characterised by serotyping, Enterobacterial Repetitive Intergenic Consensus (ERIC-PCR) typing, and whole genome sequencing (WGS). The main serotypes were S. Typhimurium, S. Enteritidis, and S. Arizonae. ERIC-PCR indicated a high degree of clonality among S. Typhimurium strains, which were also multidrug-resistant and produced extended spectrum beta-lactamases. During the study period, the frequency of S. Typhimurium and S. Arizonae isolations were decreasing, but with the increase of S. Enteritidis and other NTS. A total of 42 NTS isolates were subjected to WGS and explored for virulence-related traits and the corresponding genetic elements. Some virulence and genetic factors were shared by all NTS serotypes, while the main differences were attributed to the serotype-specific diversity of virulence genes, SPIs, virulence plasmids, and phages. The results indicated the variability and dynamics in the epidemiology of salmonellosis and a high virulence potential of human NTS isolates circulating in the region.