Occurrence and characterisation of Salmonella enterica subspecies diarizonae serovar 61: k: 1, 5, (7) in sheep in the federal state of Thuringia, Germany
Background The occurrence of Salmonella enterica subspecies diarizonae serovar 61: k: 1, 5, (7) (SASd) and other Salmonella organisms in sheep in the German federal state of Thuringia was examined for the first time. Pooled faecal samples from 90 flocks located in this state were monitored. Results Only SASd was detected in 74 (82.2%) out of the 90 sheep herds, other Salmonella serovars were not identified. A positive correlation was found between the flock size and the detection probability of SASd. Despite the agent’s high prevalence, clinical symptoms of a disease exclusively due to SASd have not been observed. The SASd strains were characterised by macrorestriction analysis, antimicrobial testing and the biochemical profile. All strains were sensitive to 13 out of 14 antimicrobial substances and resistant to only sulfamethoxazole. The high number of macrorestriction groups of SASd strains indicated a low clonality of the serovar. Conclusions Data from sheep derived foods and public health data in Germany strongly suggest that the significance of SASd for public health is considerably lower than that of serovars belonging to Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica. For this reason and because of the low disease-causing potential of SASd in sheep, it is worthwile to consider a reduction in ongoing activities from combating to monitoring serovar 61: k: 1, 5, (7) in the sheep population.