Colonization of Pigs Experimentally Infected with a Monophasic Variant of Salmonella Typhimurium
The monophasic variant of Salmonella Typhimurium is highly prevalent in human and in pork. However, little is known about colonization dynamics and serology in pigs. We orally inoculated 24 seven-week-old piglets with 109 CFU/pig of a porcine strain of monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium in an experimental trial. Three groups of eight piglets were orally inoculated and monitored for 21, 49, or 84 days post-inoculation until necropsied. From 3 days post-inoculation to necropsy, individual feces were sampled twice weekly and blood once weekly. At necropsy, the tonsils, mesenteric lymph nodes, and the contents of the duodenum, jejunum, ileum, and cecum were collected from each pig. We determined the number of CFU/g in all the samples and measured also Salmonella antibodies in OD% in all blood samples. At different times during the trial, we tested by MLVA (Multilocus Variable Number Tandem Repeat Analysis) the genomic stability of the strain after passing through the intestinal tract. Salmonella was continuously excreted by pigs, ranging from 1.4 to 5.8 log10 CFU/g. At necropsy, Salmonella was present in all samples, but the tonsils were particularly infected. Salmonella antibodies were detected in five pigs 7 days post-inoculation. At 49 days post-inoculation, all the pigs were seropositive. We observed new MLVA types for 3.3% of the isolates tested over the trial. Our study allowed us to show the serovar's ability to persist in pigs after infection up to 84 days post-inoculation. We demonstrated that Salmonella seroconversion appeared earlier than in naturally infected pigs and that the strain's genome can evolve after passing through the digestive tract of pigs.