ABSTRACT

Salmonella enterica serotype 4,[5],12:i:− (STM) has become an increasing problem for food safety and has been often detected in swine products. Weanling pigs were exposed to STM-contaminated feed, water, or air to determine possible STM transmission routes. A control group of pigs was included. STM was monitored daily in feces and rectal and nasal swabs. STM colonization was most prevalent in tissues from tonsil, lower intestine, and mesenteric lymph nodes. No differences in lesion severity were observed between inoculated and control pigs. Contaminated feed, water, and aerosolized particles caused infection in weaned pigs; however, no STM colonization was observed in skeletal muscle destined for human consumption. Based on the results from this study, STM contamination in pork products most likely results from cross-contamination of meat by digesta or lymph node tissue during processing.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Swine were inoculated with Salmonella via feed, water, or aerosolized particles.

  • Salmonella was excreted in the feces and body fluids and was found in the environment.

  • No Salmonella colonization was found in the gluteal or gracilis muscles.

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