Multidrug-Resistant Salmonella enterica Serovar Rissen Clusters Detected in Azores Archipelago, Portugal

Leonor Silveira, Miguel Pinto, Joana Isidro, Ângela Pista, Patrícia Themudo, Luís Vieira, Jorge Machado, João Paulo Gomes

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Gastrointestinal infections caused by nontyphoidal Salmonella (NTS) remain one of the main causes of foodborne illness worldwide. Within the multiple existing Salmonella enterica serovars, the serovar Rissen is rarely reported, particularly as a cause of human salmonellosis. Between 2015 and 2017, the Portuguese National Reference Laboratory of Gastrointestinal Infections observed an increase in the number of clinical cases caused by multidrug-resistant (MDR) S. enterica serovar Rissen, particularly from the Azores archipelago. In the present study, we analyzed by whole genome sequencing (WGS) all clinical, animal, food, and environmental isolates received up to 2017 in the Portuguese Reference Laboratories. As such, through a wgMLST-based gene-by-gene analysis, we aimed to identify potential epidemiological clusters linking clinical and samples from multiple sources, while gaining insight into the genetic diversity of S. enterica serovar Rissen. We also investigated the genetic basis driving the observed multidrug resistance. By integrating 60 novel genomes with all publicly available serovar Rissen genomes, we observed a low degree of genetic diversity within this serovar. Nevertheless, the majority of Portuguese isolates showed high degree of genetic relatedness and a potential link to pork production. An in-depth analysis of these isolates revealed the existence of two major clusters from the Azores archipelago composed of MDR isolates, most of which were resistant to at least five antimicrobials. Considering the well-known spread of MDR between gastrointestinal bacteria, the identification of MDR circulating clones should constitute an alert to public health authorities. Finally, this study constitutes the starting point for the implementation of the "One Health" approach for Salmonella surveillance in Portugal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1860275
JournalInternational Journal of Genomics
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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