Sources and distribution of Salmonella serotypes isolated from food animals, slaughterhouse personnel and retail meat products in Ethiopia: 1997-2002

  • Bayleyegn Molla
  • Daniel Alemayehu
  • Woubit Salah


Background: Foods of animal origin are considered to be the major sources of foodborne salmonellosis. A periodic surveillance of the sources, distribution and prevalent Salmonella serotypes in slaughtered food animals, retail meat products and environment is necessary to control the spread of the pathogen and infection of man through contaminated animal products.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to find out the sources and distribution of Salmonella serotypes isolated from apparently healthy slaughtered cattle and camels, retail meat products (minced beef and chicken) and slaughterhouse personnel over a 5-year period (1997-2002).
Methods: Three thousand eight hundred ninety-eight samples from apparently healthy slaughtered cattle and camels, slaughterhouse personnel, minced beef and chicken meat and giblets were examined for the presence of Salmonella. Salmonellae were isolated and identified according to the techniques recommended by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO 6579, 1998).
Results: A total of 412 Salmonella isolates consisting of 25 different serotypes were identified from slaughtered cattle (4.2%), camels (16.2%), slaughterhouse personnel (6.0%), minced beef (12.1%), chicken meat and giblets (23.6%). The predominant serovars were S. braenderup, S. dublin and S. saintpaul followed by S. typhimurium (including var. Copenhagen) and S. anatum Salmonella enteritidis was detected from chicken, cattle and camel meat. Salmonella typhimurium, S. anatum and S. dublin were isolated in man as well as in food animals and meat products.
Conclusion: Isolation of Salmonella from a wide range of sources suggests that Salmonella is widespread in food animals and meat products and underlines the necessity for a joint and coordinated surveillance and monitoring programs for salmonellosis and other major food borne zoonotic diseases in Ethiopia.

[Ethip.J.Health Dev. 2003;17(1):63-70]

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eISSN: 1021-6790