Salmonella rarely detected in Mississippi coastal waters and sediment
Aims: Standards for the rapid detection of individual pathogens from environmental samples have not been developed, but in their absence, the use of molecular-based detection methods coupled with traditional microbiology techniques allows for rapid and accurate pathogen detection from environmental waters and sediment. The aim of this research was to combine the use of enrichment with PCR for detection of Salmonella in Mississippi coastal waters and sediment and observe if that presence correlated with levels of enterococci and climatological variables. Methods and Results: Salmonella were primarily found in samples that underwent nutrient enrichment and were present more frequently in freshwater than marine waters. Salmonella were detected infrequently in marine and freshwater sediments. There was a significant positive correlation between the presence of detectable Salmonella and the average enterococcal count. An inverse relationship, however, was observed between the frequency of detection and the levels of salinity, turbidity and sunlight exposure. Conclusions: Results from this study indicated the presence of Salmonella in Mississippi coastal waters, and sediments are very low with significant differences between freshwater and marine environments. Significance and Impact of the Study: Using pathogenic and novel nonpathogenic molecular markers, Salmonella do not appear to be a significant pathogenic genus along the Mississippi Coast.