Nontyphoidal Salmonella (NTS) species are important food-borne pathogens that cause gastroenteritis and bacteremia, and are responsible for a huge global burden of morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalent serogroups and antibiotic resistance of NTS in our region.
We reviewed the serogroup distribution and antimicrobial susceptibility patterns of NTS strains obtained from 158 stool specimens of patients with acute diarrheal infection attending the outpatient and inpatient department at a university hospital in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia in the period from September, 2008 to April, 2011. A retrospective analysis of the 158 patients with NTS infection was conducted to determine the most prevalent NTS serogroups causing acute gastroenteritis and their antimicrobial susceptibility patterns.
At this teaching hospital, a total of 17,436 fecal samples were analyzed during the 2008–2011 study period. Of these specimens, 158 tested positive for NTS, giving an overall prevalence of 9.06 per 1,000. Of 158 NTS cases, serogroup D1 (25.3%) was the most prevalent, followed by serogroup B (19.6%), and serogroup C1 (18.9). One third of all NTS serogroup strains tested were resistant to tetracycline. The NTS strains showed resistance to ampicillin (31.3%), amoxicillin/clavulanic acid (29.9%), trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (20.9%), and cefotaxime (14.93%).
The findings of this study support the concern that use of antibiotics in animal feeds may contribute to acquisition of resistance in food-borne bacteria, such as Salmonella. Our study also concludes that the prevalence of NTS in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia is very low compared with other studies worldwide.