Survival of Salmonella Newport in oysters

Christopher M. Morrison, Alexandra E. Armstrong, Sanford Evans, Rita M. Mild, Christopher J. Langdon, Lynn A. Joens

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Scopus citations


    Salmonella enterica is the leading cause of laboratory-confirmed foodborne illness in the United States and raw shellfish consumption is a commonly implicated source of gastrointestinal pathogens. A 2005 epidemiological study done in our laboratory by Brands et al., showed that oysters in the United States are contaminated with Salmonella, and in particular, a specific strain of the Newport serovar. This work sought to further investigate the host-microbe interactions between Salmonella Newport and oysters. A procedure was developed to reliably and repeatedly expose oysters to enteric bacteria and quantify the subsequent levels of bacterial survival. The results show that 10days after an exposure to Salmonella Newport, an average concentration of 3.7×103CFU/g remains within the oyster meat, and even after 60days there still can be more than 102CFU/g remaining. However, the strain of Newport that predominated in the market survey done by Brands et al. does not survive within oysters or the estuarine environment better than any other strains of Salmonella we tested. Using this same methodology, we compared Salmonella Newport's ability to survive within oysters to a non-pathogenic strain of E. coli and found that after 10days the concentration of Salmonella was 200-times greater than that of E. coli. We also compared those same strains of Salmonella and E. coli in a depuration process to determine if a constant 120L/h flux of clean seawater could significantly reduce the concentration of bacteria within oysters and found that after 3days the oysters retained over 104CFU/g of Salmonella while the oysters exposed to the non-pathogenic strain of E. coli contained 100-times less bacteria. Overall, the results of this study demonstrate that any of the clinically relevant serovars of Salmonella can survive within oysters for significant periods of time after just one exposure event. Based on the drastic differences in survivability between Salmonella and a non-pathogenic relative, the results of this study also suggest that unidentified virulence factors may play a role in Salmonella's interactions with oysters.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)93-98
    Number of pages6
    JournalInternational Journal of Food Microbiology
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Aug 2 2011


    • Food safety
    • Host-microbe interactions
    • Oysters
    • Salmonella enterica
    • Seafood

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Food Science
    • Microbiology


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