Worldwide Epidemiology of Salmonella Serovars in Animal-Based Foods: a Meta-analysis
Salmonella spp. are among the most important foodborne pathogens and the third leading cause of human death among diarrheal diseases worldwide. Animals are the primary source of this pathogen, and animal-based foods are the main transmission route to humans. Thus, understanding the global epidemiology of Salmonella serovars is key to controlling and monitoring this bacterium. In this context, this study aimed to evaluate the prevalence and diversity of Salmonella enterica serovars in animal-based foods (beef, pork, poultry, and seafood) throughout the five continents (Africa, the Americas [North and Latin America], Asia, Europe, and Oceania). The meta-analysis consisted of a chemometric assessment (hierarchical cluster analysis and principal component analysis) to identify the main epidemiological findings, including the prevalence and diversity of the Salmonella serovars in each matrix. Regarding the serovar distribution, S . Typhimurium presented a cosmopolitan distribution, reported in all four assessed matrices and continents; poultry continues to play a central role in the dissemination of the Enteritidis serovar to humans, and Anatum and Weltevreden were the most frequently found in beef and seafood, respectively. Additionally, we recommended careful monitoring of certain serovars, such as Derby, Agona, Infantis, and Kentucky. Finally, given the scientific data regarding the most frequently reported serovars and which matrices constitute the main vehicles for the transmission of this pathogen, control programs may be improved, and specific interventions may be implemented in an attempt to reduce the risk of this pathogen reaching humans.
IMPORTANCE Salmonellosis is caused by Salmonella spp. and is the third leading cause of death among food-transmitted diseases. This pathogen is commonly disseminated in domestic and wild animals, and the infection’s symptoms are characterized by acute fever, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. The animals are the primary source of salmonellae, and animal-based foods are the main transmission route to humans. Therefore, data collected from these sources could contribute to future global interventions for effective control and surveillance of Salmonella along the food chain. In light of this, the importance of our research is in identifying the prevalence of Salmonella serovars in four animal-based food matrices (pork, poultry, beef, and seafood) and to evaluate the importance that each matrix has as the primary source of this pathogen to humans.