Persistence and spread of Salmonella enterica serovar Weltevreden in soil and on spinach plants

Authors


  • Editor: Elizabeth Baggs

Correspondence: Veronica Arthurson, Uppsala Biocenter, Department of Microbiology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, PO box 7025, S-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden. Tel.: +46 18 67 32 12; fax: +46 18 67 33 92; e-mail: veronica.arthurson@mikrob.slu.se

Abstract

Several outbreaks caused by pathogenic bacteria are related to the consumption of raw produce contaminated by animal manure. The majority of these outbreaks have been linked to Salmonella spp. We examined the ability of Salmonella enterica serovar Weltevreden to persist and survive in manure and soil as well as disseminate to, and persist on, spinach roots and leaves. Significantly higher numbers of S. Weltevreden inoculated into manure and applied to soil before planting spinach were found in soil than in pot cultures, where the pathogen had been inoculated directly into soil 14 days postplanting. Moreover, the pathogen seemed to disperse from manure to spinach roots, as we observed a continuous increase in the number of contaminated replicate pot cultures throughout the evaluation period. We also found that, in some cases, S. Weltevreden present in the phyllosphere had the ability to persist for the entire evaluation period (21 days), with only slight reductions in cell numbers. The results from the present study show that S. Weltevreden is capable of persisting in soil, roots and shoots for prolonged periods, indicating the importance of strict monitoring of untreated animal manure before considering its application to agricultural land.

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