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Salmonella enterica is a major epidemic cause of gastrointestinal infection worldwide. Although the animal host is believed to be the primary habitat of this specie, Salmonella is frequently isolated from water sources and it has been identified in marine environments. In this study the incidence of serotypes of Salmonella in the coastal water of the Italian region of Marche on the Adriatic Sea was evaluated. A total of 3985 samples of molluscan shellfish were analyzed during routine surveillance activity for a period of five years (2002-2007) and 0,95% of the samples were found contaminated with Salmonella. The most prevalent serotypes were Seftenberg (23.5%), Typhimurium (14,7%) and Enteritidis (11.8%) respectively. Pulsed-field electrophoresis and phage typing were used to determine possible genetic relationship (relatedness) between S. Enteritidis strains isolated from bivalve mollusc and those isolated from human cases, animals and foods in Region of Marche. Three isolates from mollusc shellfish, 7 from sporadic human infection and 4 from poultry farms were confirmed as phagetype PT2 and PFGE profile XB0002. These results suggest a molecular fingerprinting relationship among shellfish, human and animal isolates, which could be considered as preliminary evidence of human infections associated with poultry production industry.
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