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Salmonella surveillance on fresh produce in retail in Turkey

Gunel, Elif
Kilic, Gozde Polat
Bulut, Ece
Durul, Bora
Acar, Sinem
Alpas, Hami
Soyer, Yeşim
Although Turkey is one of the major producers of fruits and vegetables in the world, there has been no information available on the prevalence of pathogens in fresh produce. To fill this gap, we collected 503 fresh produce samples including tomato, parsley, iceberg lettuce, green-leaf lettuce and five different fresh pepper varieties (i.e., green, kapya, bell, mazamort and Charleston) from 3 major districts within 9 supermarkets and 3 bazaars in Ankara, Turkey to investigate the presence of Salmonella. Salmonella was detected in 0.8% (4/503) of samples by conventional culturing method with molecular confirmation conducted through polymerase chain reaction (PCR). For further characterization of isolates, serotyping, antimicrobial susceptibility testing, multi-locus sequence typing (MLST; aroC, thrA, purE, sucA, hisD, hemD and dnaN) and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) were performed. Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serotypes Anatum, Charity, Enteritidis and Mikawasima were isolated from two parsley, one pepper and one lettuce samples, respectively. MIST resulted in 4 sequence types (STs) for each serotype, including one novel ST for serotype Mikawasima. Similarly, PFGE revealed four different Xbal PFGE patterns. The results of this survey, obtained by the most common subtyping methods (i.e. serotyping, MIST and PFGE) worldwide, contributes to the development of a national database in Turkey, which is essential for investigating the evolutionary pathways, geographical distribution and genetic diversity of Salmonella strains.