Original Research

Detection of Salmonella from animal sources in South Africa between 2007 and 2014

Awoke K. Gelaw, Palesa Nthaba, Itumeleng Matle
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 89 | a1643 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v89i0.1643 | © 2018 Awoke K. Gelaw, Palesa Nthaba, Itumeleng Matle | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 November 2017 | Published: 07 November 2018

About the author(s)

Awoke K. Gelaw, Agricultural Research Council, Irene, South Africa
Palesa Nthaba, Agricultural Research Council, Irene, South Africa
Itumeleng Matle, Agricultural Research Council, Irene, South Africa

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Retrospective laboratory-based surveillance was conducted on Salmonella serotypes isolated from various animal species from 2007 to 2014 at the Agricultural Research Council, Onderstepoort Veterinary Research Institute, South Africa. During the surveillance period, 1229 salmonellae isolations were recorded. Around 108 different serotypes were recovered from nine different food and non-food animal host species. The three most common serotypes were Salmonella entericasubspecies enterica serotype Heidelberg (n = 200), Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serotype Enteritidis (n = 170) and Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serotype Typhimurium (n = 146). These were followed by Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serotype Anatum (n = 62) and Salmonella entericasubspecies enterica serotype Infantis (n = 57). Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serotype Schwarzengrund and Salmonella enterica subspecies entericaserotype Muenchen were recovered in 50 and 48 cases, respectively. Of the total number of isolations recorded during the period under review, 871 (70.8%) occurred in poultry and other birds, 162 (13.2%) in horses, 116 (9.4%) in cattle, 26 (2.1%) in sheep and goats, 22 (1.8%) in rhinoceroses, 16 (1.3%) in pigs, 8 (0.6%) in crocodiles, 6 (0.5%) in cats and 6 (0.5%) in leopards. Food animals accounted for 83.5% of the total isolations, with cattle and poultry representing approximately 72.7%. Forty-two (3.4 %) isolates were found from non-food animals that include rhinoceroses (n = 22), crocodiles (n = 8), leopards (n = 6) and cats (n = 6). Salmonella Heidelberg was the most frequently isolated serotype, whereas S. Typhimurium had the widest zoological distribution. Clinical laboratory isolation of different Salmonella serotypes from various hosts may aid in recognising the threat to livestock, public and environmental health. Moreover, it may also highlight the potential zoonotic and food safety risk implications of the detected Salmonella serotypes.


animal; salmonella; surveillance; retrospctive; South Africa


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