The study assessed the role of equids at slaughter as faecal carriers of Salmonella enterica and the occurrence of contaminated equid carcasses during the slaughter process in Northern Italy (Emilia-Romagna Region). From June to November 2021, 152 equids (146 horses, 5 donkeys and 1 mule) were tested for Salmonella both in caecal contents and through carcass swabs. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) of recovered strains was tested against 15 antimicrobials. Salmonella was detected in 3/152 of the caecal contents (2.0 %), while all carcass samples were negative. S. enterica serovars Enteriditis, Typhimurium and Stanleyville were identified. The only AMR isolate was S. Typhimurium with AMR profile AmCStxT. Considering the consumption of raw horse meat (i.e., minced raw meat named “pesto di cavallo” and dried and smoked strips named “sfilacci di cavallo”) in different areas of Northern Italy, we also investigated the possible link between horse meat eating and salmonellosis cases in the human population in the same area. Specifically, we compared the Salmonella strains collected during the study with those routinely processed in the laboratory surveillance system for human salmonellosis in Emilia-Romagna (a region with about 4.5 million inhabitants). The comparison was based on whole genome sequencing data through core genome multi-locus sequence typing (cgMLST) used in routine surveillance. A genomic match in cgMLST was found between the strain of S. enterica serovar Enteritidis isolated from a horse caecal content and an enduring outbreak of 17 human cases in Emilia-Romagna during the study period. The consequent epidemiological investigation highlighted that a number of cases with known food history reported the consumption of horse meat and traced different batches of the consumed meat, released weeks apart from each other, to the slaughter investigated in the study. The results of the epidemiological investigation suggested the role of horses in the S. enterica serovar Enteritidis outbreak affecting raw horse meat consumers. This study shows that, despite the low prevalence on equid carcasses, S. enterica in horse meat can represent a risk to consumers. From the perspective of the slaughter activities, this highlights the need to maintain a high level of hygiene during the entire process, starting from the hygiene at lairage up to the slaughtering phase and dressing of carcasses.

Salmonella in horses at slaughter and public health effects in Italy / Bolzoni, L.; Conter, M.; Lamperti, L.; Scaltriti, E.; Morganti, M.; Poeta, A.; Vecchi, M.; Paglioli, S.; Rampini, A.; Ramoni, P.; De Vita, D.; Bacci, C.; Rega, M.; Andriani, L.; Pongolini, S.; Bonardi, S.. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF FOOD MICROBIOLOGY. - ISSN 0168-1605. - 408:(2024), p. 110429.110429. [10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2023.110429]

Salmonella in horses at slaughter and public health effects in Italy

Conter M.;Lamperti L.;Bacci C.;Rega M.;Andriani L.;Bonardi S.
2024-01-01

Abstract

The study assessed the role of equids at slaughter as faecal carriers of Salmonella enterica and the occurrence of contaminated equid carcasses during the slaughter process in Northern Italy (Emilia-Romagna Region). From June to November 2021, 152 equids (146 horses, 5 donkeys and 1 mule) were tested for Salmonella both in caecal contents and through carcass swabs. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) of recovered strains was tested against 15 antimicrobials. Salmonella was detected in 3/152 of the caecal contents (2.0 %), while all carcass samples were negative. S. enterica serovars Enteriditis, Typhimurium and Stanleyville were identified. The only AMR isolate was S. Typhimurium with AMR profile AmCStxT. Considering the consumption of raw horse meat (i.e., minced raw meat named “pesto di cavallo” and dried and smoked strips named “sfilacci di cavallo”) in different areas of Northern Italy, we also investigated the possible link between horse meat eating and salmonellosis cases in the human population in the same area. Specifically, we compared the Salmonella strains collected during the study with those routinely processed in the laboratory surveillance system for human salmonellosis in Emilia-Romagna (a region with about 4.5 million inhabitants). The comparison was based on whole genome sequencing data through core genome multi-locus sequence typing (cgMLST) used in routine surveillance. A genomic match in cgMLST was found between the strain of S. enterica serovar Enteritidis isolated from a horse caecal content and an enduring outbreak of 17 human cases in Emilia-Romagna during the study period. The consequent epidemiological investigation highlighted that a number of cases with known food history reported the consumption of horse meat and traced different batches of the consumed meat, released weeks apart from each other, to the slaughter investigated in the study. The results of the epidemiological investigation suggested the role of horses in the S. enterica serovar Enteritidis outbreak affecting raw horse meat consumers. This study shows that, despite the low prevalence on equid carcasses, S. enterica in horse meat can represent a risk to consumers. From the perspective of the slaughter activities, this highlights the need to maintain a high level of hygiene during the entire process, starting from the hygiene at lairage up to the slaughtering phase and dressing of carcasses.
2024
Salmonella in horses at slaughter and public health effects in Italy / Bolzoni, L.; Conter, M.; Lamperti, L.; Scaltriti, E.; Morganti, M.; Poeta, A.; Vecchi, M.; Paglioli, S.; Rampini, A.; Ramoni, P.; De Vita, D.; Bacci, C.; Rega, M.; Andriani, L.; Pongolini, S.; Bonardi, S.. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF FOOD MICROBIOLOGY. - ISSN 0168-1605. - 408:(2024), p. 110429.110429. [10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2023.110429]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11381/2971038
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