In sub-Saharan Africa, non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) are emerging as a prominent cause of invasive disease (bacteremia and focal infections such as meningitis) in infants and young children. Importantly, including data from Mali, three serovars, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Dublin, account for the majority of non-typhoidal Salmonella isolated from these patients.
We have extended a previously developed series of polymerase chain reactions (PCRs) based on O serogrouping and H typing to identify Salmonella Typhimurium and variants (mostly I 4,,12:i:-), Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Dublin. We also designed primers to detect Salmonella Stanleyville, a serovar found in West Africa. Another PCR was used to differentiate diphasic Salmonella Typhimurium and monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium from other O serogroup B, H:i serovars. We used these PCRs to blind-test 327 Salmonella serogroup B and D isolates that were obtained from the blood cultures of febrile patients in Bamako, Mali.
We have shown that when used in conjunction with our previously described O-serogrouping PCR, our PCRs are 100% sensitive and specific in identifying Salmonella Typhimurium and variants, Salmonella Enteritidis, Salmonella Dublin and Salmonella Stanleyville. When we attempted to differentiate 171 Salmonella Typhimurium (I 4,[ 5],12:i:1,2) strains from 52 monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium (I 4,,12:i:-) strains, we were able to correctly identify 170 of the Salmonella Typhimurium and 51 of the Salmonella I 4,,12:i:- strains.
We have described a simple yet effective PCR method to support surveillance of the incidence of invasive disease caused by NTS in developing countries.
The genus Salmonella has more than 2500 serological variants (serovars), such as Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi and Salmonella Paratyphi A and B, that cause, respectively, typhoid and paratyphoid fevers (enteric fevers), and a large number of non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) serovars that cause gastroenteritis in healthy hosts. In young infants, the elderly and immunocompromised hosts, NTS can cause severe, fatal invasive disease. Multiple studies of pediatric patients in sub-Saharan Africa have documented the important role of NTS, in particular Salmonella Typhimurium and Salmonella Enteritidis (and to a lesser degree Salmonella Dublin), as invasive bacterial pathogens. Salmonella spp. are isolated from blood and identified by standard microbiological techniques and the serovar is ascertained by agglutination with commercial antisera. PCR-based typing techniques are becoming increasingly popular in developing countries, in part because high quality typing sera are difficult to obtain and expensive and H serotyping is technically difficult. We have developed a series of polymerase chain reactions (PCRs) to identify Salmonella Typhimurium and variants, Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Dublin. We successfully identified 327 Salmonella isolates using our multiplex PCR. We also designed primers to detect Salmonella Stanleyville, a serovar found in West Africa. Another PCR generally differentiated diphasic Salmonella Typhimurium and monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium variant strains from other closely related strains. The PCRs described here will enable more laboratories in developing countries to serotype NTS that have been isolated from blood.