Motility and Survival of Salmonella Enterica Subspecies Enterica Serovar Enteritidis in Tomato Plants (Solanum lycopersicum L)

  • Rosa Laura Ocaña-de Jesús
  • Ana Tarín Gutiérrez-IbáñezEmail author
  • Jesús Ricardo Sánchez-Pale
  • María Dolores Mariezcurrena-Berasain
  • Antonio Laguna-Cerda
  • Ulises Hernández-Chiñas
  • Itzel Rojas-Puebla
Original Article


The presence of enteropathogens such as Salmonella affects the quality and safety of vegetables that are consumed in a minimally processed state. Worldwide, tomatoes are one of the main vegetables whose raw consumption has caused health alerts. As such, the aim of this study was to determine the motility and survival of Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serovar Enteritidis on greenhouse-grown tomato plants. A completely randomized experimental design was used, and bacteria were inoculated into the substrate at the time of transplanting as well as by puncturing the plant stem, petiole, and peduncle during the vegetative, flowering, and fruiting stages. Survival was monitored throughout the production cycle; motility was evaluated separately in plant organs separated from the point of inoculation. Salmonella enteritidis survived the 120 days of the experiment both at the point of inoculation and in other organs of the tomato plant. For all treatments, there was a significant difference (P < 0.05) between bacterial counts in the root (12.45 ± 2.52 to 160 ± 4.01 CFU/g), stem (16.10 ± 2.31 to 90.55 ± 3.62 CFU/g), flower (7.0 ± 2.15 to 51.10 ± 3.80 CFU/g), and fruit (8.75 ± 2.38 to 28.2 ± 3.29 CFU/g). The results of the study indicate that Salmonella enteritidis in contact with tomato plants is a latent danger because its ability to enter, survive, and move within tomato plants until reaching the fruit, limits the effectiveness of commonly used disinfection methods, it would potentiate the risk to human health.


Salmonella Salmonellosis Food Inoculation 



The authors thank the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico (Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México) and the National Council of Science and Technology (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología) for the scholarship awarded to the first author during her doctoral studies; and the Bacterial Pathogenicity Laboratory of the Children’s Hospital of Mexico “Federico Gómez” National Autonomous University of Mexico (Laboratorio de Patogenicidad Bacteriana del Hospital Infantil de México “Federico Gómez” Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) for allowing access through Dr. Carlos Eslava Campos, as well as for all the support, comments, and contribution.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosa Laura Ocaña-de Jesús
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ana Tarín Gutiérrez-Ibáñez
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jesús Ricardo Sánchez-Pale
    • 2
  • María Dolores Mariezcurrena-Berasain
    • 2
  • Antonio Laguna-Cerda
    • 2
  • Ulises Hernández-Chiñas
    • 3
  • Itzel Rojas-Puebla
    • 2
  1. 1.Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (Ciencias Agropecuarias y Recursos Naturales)TolucaMexico
  2. 2.Faculty of Agricultural SciencesAutonomous University of the State of Mexico (Facultad de Ciencias Agrícolas. Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México)TolucaMexico
  3. 3.Federico Gomez Children’s Hospital, Bacterial Pathogenicity Laboratory (Hospital Infantil de México “Federico Gomez”, Laboratorio de Patogenicidad Bacteriana)National Autonomous University of MexicoMexico CityMexico

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