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Investigation of class 1 integrons and virulence genes in the emergent Salmonella serovar Infantis in Turkey


The emerging situation of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Infantis (S. Infantis) in Turkey was investigated in terms of virulence genes and mobile genetic elements such as Salmonella genomic island 1 (SGI1) and class 1 (C1) integron to see whether increased multidrug resistance (MDR) and ability to cause human cases is a consequence of their possession. Screening of SGI1 (and its variants) and C1 integrons was done with conventional PCR, while screening of gene cassettes and virulence genes was conducted with real-time PCR for 70 S. Infantis isolates from poultry products. SGI1 or its variants were not detected in any of the isolates. Sixty-eight of 70 isolates were detected to carry one C1 integron of size 1.0 kb. These integrons were detected to carry ant(3″)-Ia gene cassette explaining the streptomycin/spectinomycin resistance. Sequence analysis of gene cassettes belongs to four representing isolates which showed that, although their difference in isolation date and place, genetically, they are 99.9% similar. Virulence gene screening was introduced as genotypic virulence profiles. The most dominant profile for S. Infantis isolates, among twelve genes, was gatC-tcfA, which are known to be related to colonization at specific hosts. This study revealed the high percentage of C1 integron possession in S. Infantis isolates from poultry products in Turkey. It also showed the potential of S. Infantis strains to be resistant to more antimicrobial drugs. Moreover, a dominant profile of virulence genes that are uncommon for non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) serovars was detected, which might explain the enhanced growth at specified hosts.

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We thank Medical Microbiology Specialist Dr. Belkıs Levent from Public Health Institution of Turkey for providing us DT104 strain.


This work was supported by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) with Project No.: 114O180.

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Correspondence to Yesim Soyer.

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Namli, S., Soyer, Y. Investigation of class 1 integrons and virulence genes in the emergent Salmonella serovar Infantis in Turkey. Int Microbiol 25, 259–265 (2022).

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  • Class 1 Integron
  • Salmonela genomic island 1
  • Salmonella Infantis
  • Virulence genes