ABSTRACT

The lack of hygiene and sanitation practices and insufficient infrastructure in Cambodian informal markets may increase the risk of food contamination, specifically raw vegetables, which in turn may increase the chances of contracting a foodborne disease. The aims of this study in informal markets in Cambodia were (i) to quantify the prevalence of Salmonella enterica based upon differences in season of the year (rainy versus dry), surface types (food contact surfaces versus nonfood contact surfaces), and location of vendors within the market (inside versus outside) and (ii) to characterize S. enterica serotype prevalence. A total of 310 samples were screened for S. enterica prevalence following the U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, and results were confirmed by PCR assay. Whole genome sequencing was used to determine the serotype for each isolate in silico using SeqSero 1.0 on draft genomes. A total of 78 samples were confirmed positive for S. enterica. During the dry season, S. enterica was more prevalent on food contact surfaces than on nonfood contact surfaces (estimated probability of detection [confidence interval]: 0.41 [0.25, 0.59] and 0.17 [0.08, 0.32], respectively; P = 0.002), but no differences were apparent in the rainy season. No differences in S. enterica prevalence were found based on location within the market (P = 0.61). Sixteen S. enterica serotypes were detected across multiple surfaces. The most common S. enterica serotypes were Rissen (18 isolates), Hvittingfoss (11), Corvallis (10), Krefeld (8), Weltevreden (6), and Altona (6). Accurate data on the prevalence of S. enterica in informal markets are crucial for the development of effective surveillance and implementation of suitable intervention strategies at the domestic level, thus preventing foodborne illness.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • S. enterica prevalence was higher on food contact surfaces in the dry season.

  • S. enterica prevalence was similar regardless of market location.

  • Sixteen S. enterica serotypes were detected.

  • S. enterica subsp. enterica serotype Rissen was the most prevalent serotype.

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