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Epidemiological Analysis on the Occurrence of Salmonella enterica Subspecies enterica Serovar Dublin in the German Federal State Schleswig-Holstein Using Whole-Genome Sequencing

The cattle-adapted serovar Salmonella Dublin (S. Dublin) causes enteritis and systemic diseases in animals. In the German federal state Schleswig-Holstein, S. Dublin is the most important serovar in cattle indicating an endemic character of the infection. To gain information on dissemination and routes of infection, whole-genome sequencing (WGS) was used to explore the genetic traits of 78 S. Dublin strains collected over a period of six years. The phylogeny was analysed using core-genome single nucleotide polymorphisms (cgSNPs). Genomic clusters at 100, 15 and 1 cgSNPs were selected for molecular analysis. Important specific virulence determinants were detected in all strains but multidrug resistance in S. Dublin organisms was not found. Using 15 cgSNPs epidemiological links between herds were identified, clusters at 1 cgSNPs provided clear evidence on both persistence of S. Dublin at single farms in consecutive years and transmission of the organisms between herds in different distances. A possible risk factor for the repeated occurrence of S. Dublin in certain districts of Schleswig-Holstein might be the spreading of manure on pastures and grassland. Effective control of S. Dublin requires farm-specific analysis of the management supplemented by WGS of outbreak causing S. Dublin strains to clearly identify routes of infection.



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