Isolation of Salmonella spp. and bacteriophage active against Salmonella spp. from commercial swine
Bacteriophage are viruses that prey on bacteria and may be a potential strategy to reduce foodborne pathogemc bactena in the gastromtestlnal tract of food animals Phages are fairly common in the gastrointestinal microbial ecosystem of mammals, but the incidence is unknown. If phage are to be an intervention strategy, we must understand their role in the microbial ecology of the gut. From a regulatory perspective, knowing incidence of phage is crucial. Therefore the current study was designed to determine the incidence of phage active against Salmonella spp in the feces of commercial finishing swine in the United States. Fecal samples (n=60) were collected from each of six commercial swine finishing operations. Samples were collected from 10 randomly selected pens throughout each operation. Total number of fecal samples collected in this study was n=360 Salmonella spp were found in 66% of the fecal samples Salmonella spp. were isolated from only 2 farms and the serotypes represented were Schwarzengrund, Anatum, Ohio and Heidelberg Bacteriophages were isolated from fecal sample through 2 parallel methods, 1) initlal enrichment in Salmonella Typhimunum, or 2) initial ennchment in E. colt B (a strain very sensitive to phages), followed by direct spot-testing against Salmonella Typhimurium Bacteriophages active against Salmonella Typhimunum were isolated from 1.1% 4/360) of the individual fecal samples when initially enriched in Salmonella Typhimurium, but E coli S-killing phages were 1solated from 43.8% (158/360) of the fecal samples but only 2 of these Isolates were capable of k1ll1ng Salmonella Typhimunum. Our results mdicate that bactenophage capable of killing Salmonella Typh1murium are fairly w1despread across commercial swine production facilities but may be present at relatively low populat1ons These results md1cate that phage (predator) populations may vary along w1th Salmonella (prey) populations and that phage could potentially be used as a food safety pathogen reduction strategy.