As part of the fight against Salmonella strains present in poultry and pork and capable of infecting humans, the rapid identification of serotypes that could contaminate the food chain is of crucial importance. The current method requires not only time but also a great deal of expertise. The SALMSTID project will allow the development of a new method based on molecular tools to enable rapid, accurate and low-cost detection of most Salmonella serotypes encountered in Belgium. The centralisation of the analytical data will also allow for improved national monitoring of this pathogen.
Salmonella is a major pathogenic agent that is widely distributed in developed countries. The Salmonella enterica sbsp. enterica subspecies consists of 1500 serotypes capable of causing various pathologies in humans or livestock. That is why, as part of the control of this pathogen, it is important to know the serotype of the Salmonella that are isolated in first-line laboratories.
The reference method for Salmonella serotyping is slide agglutination serotyping. However, this method is a lengthy and expensive process, does not always produce very clear results and requires technicians specially trained for this work. As a result, it is not suitable for the rapid detection of Salmonella serotypes that need to eliminated primarily in the pig and poultry industries (cf. EU Regulation N° 2160/2003, FASFC Advice 03-2012).
The SALMSTID project therefore aims to develop a more rapid and accurate method for the identification of (zoonotic) Salmonella serotypes that are the object of official control in poultry and pork. This technique will be based on specific genetic markers of each serotype to be identified: Agona, Anatum, Brandenburg, Choleraesuis, Derby, Enteritidis (and its vaccine variant), Gallinarum (and the gallinarum and Pullorum biotypes), Hadar, Infantis, Livingstone, Mbandaka, Minnesota, Ohio, Paratyphi B (and its Java variant), Rissen, Senftenberg, Typhimurium (and its monophasic variant) and Virchow.
The method will be validated according to the criteria of the ISO 17025 and ISO 22119 standards and standardised procedures will be established. This will allow first-line laboratories to obtain rapid test accreditation. In addition, the development of decision software will allow for the interpretation of experimental data and for clear and objective results to be obtained, thereby facilitating the implementation of the technique in first-line laboratories.