Molecular epidemiological characteristics ofSalmonella entericaserovars Enteritidis, Typhimurium and Livingstone strains isolated in a Tunisian university hospital

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Enteritidis, Typhimurium and Livingstone are the main Salmonella enterica serovars recovered in Tunisia. Here, we aimed to assess the genetic diversity of fifty-seven Salmonella enterica strains from different sampling periods, origins and settings using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) and multi-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA). Salmonella Enteritidis, isolated from human and food sources from two regions in Sfax in 2007, were grouped into one cluster using PFGE. However, using MLVA these strains were divided into two clusters. Salmonella Typhimurium strains, recovered in 2012 and represent sporadic cases of human clinical isolates, were included in one PFGE cluster. Nevertheless, the MLVA technique, divided Salmonella Typhimurium isolates into six clusters with diversity index reaching (DI = 0.757). For Salmonella Livingstone which was responsible of two nosocomial outbreaks during 2000–2003, the PFGE and MLVA methods showed that these strains were genetically closely related. Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Livingstone populations showed a single ST lineage ST11 and ST543 respectively. For Salmonella Typhimurium, two MLST sequence types ST19 and ST328 were defined. Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Typhimurium strains were clearly differentiated by MLVA which was not the case using PFGE.

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