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Prevalence and antimicrobial resistance profiles of Salmonella enterica serovars isolated from slaughtered cattle in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia


A study was undertaken from October 2006 to March 2007 to determine the prevalence and antimicrobial resistance patterns of Salmonella serovars. Liver, mesenteric lymph nodes, intestinal content, and carcass swab samples (each n = 186) were collected from 186 apparently healthy slaughtered cattle at Bahir Dar abattoir. Bacteriological analysis was done according to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 6579 2002). Isolates were serotyped at Agence Française de Securite Sanitaire des Aliments, Cedex, France. Twenty-eight isolates consisting of Salmonella Typhimurium, Salmonella Newport, Salmonella Haifa, Salmonella Heidelberg, Salmonella Infantis, and Salmonella Mishmarhaemek were identified. Salmonella Typhimurium and Salmonella Newport were most frequently isolated while Salmonella Heidelberg and Salmonella Mishmarhaemek were isolated least. Eleven of the 28 (39.3%) were resistant to one or more of the antimicrobials tested. Resistance was shown to ampicillin, chloramphenicol, gentamycin, norfloxacin, polymyxin-B, streptomycin, tetracycline, and trimethoprim. Four of 11 (36.4%) were multiple antimicrobial resistant. All the isolates tested were susceptible to the antimicrobial effects of gentamycin, norfloxacin, and trimethoprim. Eleven, four, and two isolates of the 28 were resistant to streptomycin, tetracycline, and ampicillin, respectively. All isolates of Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Typhimurium (except one), and Salmonella Mishmarhaemek were susceptible to the tested antimicrobials. One Typhimurium isolate was resistant to chloramphenicol, streptomycin, and tetracycline. Salmonella Haifa was multiply antimicrobial resistant to ampicillin, tetracycline, and streptomycin. All isolates of Salmonella Heidelberg were resistant to streptomycin. Results of this study indicated high level of carcass contamination with antimicrobial-resistant Salmonella serovars which could pose public health risk; suggests need for hygienic slaughtering operations and proper cooking of meat before consumption. Further detailed studies involving different abattoirs, animal products, food items, and animals on different settings were recommended in the study area.

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The authors would like to express their gratitude to the Amhara Region Bureau of Agriculture and rural Development for financial support. All the staff of Bahir Dar Regional Veterinary Laboratory deserves acknowledgment for allowing the use of their laboratory facilities and consumables and for technical assistance. In addition, Dr. Meseret Admassu, Ato Tadilo Mazengia, Elias, and Ato Leakemariam are especially acknowledged. Contribution of Yeshwork was beyond her duty; she deserves a special appreciation.

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Correspondence to Sefinew Alemu.

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Alemu, S., Zewde, B.M. Prevalence and antimicrobial resistance profiles of Salmonella enterica serovars isolated from slaughtered cattle in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. Trop Anim Health Prod 44, 595–600 (2012).

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  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Cattle
  • Salmonella
  • Serovars
  • Ethiopia