Scientists have found Salmonella variants can have different effects on the health of pigs and the risks they pose to food safety.
Two closely related types of Salmonella Typhimurium, called U288 and sequence type (ST) 34, are particularly dominant in pigs and differed in colonization of the intestine and surrounding tissues and severity of disease they produced. The ST34 variant accounts for more than half of all UK human Salmonella Typhimurium infections, while U288 is rarely associated with human infection.
Professor Rob Kingsley from the Quadram Institute and professor Mark Stevens from the Roslin Institute worked with scientists at the Earlham Institute to look at common variants of Salmonella in pigs in the UK.
Using whole genome sequencing the research team found that the two types of Salmonella Typhimurium have been circulating in UK pigs since 2003. Researchers previously examined the emergence and spread of Salmonella in pigs.
Predicting risk and control strategies
In the pork industry, it can impact the health and welfare of pigs and have potential effects on productivity. Salmonella Typhimurium is relatively common in pig herds and processes at slaughterhouses try to prevent contamination of meat destined for the food chain.
Findings from the study, published in the journal Communications Biology, could help to predict the risk of Salmonella variants to animals and people, and help strategies t