Salmonella's Secret of Survival Revealed

BELGIUM - A new study suggests that the ability of Salmonella Enteritidis to survive in egg albumen at the chicken's body temperature explains why it is often identified in contaminated eggs and, therefore, it is the type most often associated with foodborne disease from eggs.
calendar icon 6 March 2013
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A new study from Belgium adds evidence to the hypothesis that egg white survival is one of the reasons why Salmonella Enteritidis is more predominantly isolated from contaminated eggs, and helps explaining why most reported egg-borne Salmonella outbreaks in humans are caused by Salmonella Enteritidis.

Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serotype Enteritidis is a major cause of egg-borne human salmonellosis.

In a paper in the latest issue of Poultry Science, researchers Janita De Vylder and colleagues at the University of Ghent hypothesised that the ability to survive in egg albumen at chicken body temperature is an important factor involved in the predominant contamination of eggs by this specific serotype.

Eighty-nine Salmonella strains from different serotypes, belonging to five serogroups, were incubated for 24 hours in egg white at 42°C.

The number of Salmonella Enteritidis strains that were able to survive in egg white was significantly higher than strains belonging to other serotypes and serogroups that were tested in this study.


De Vylder J., R. Raspoet, J. Dewulf, F. Haesebrouck, R. Ducatelle and F. Van Immerseel. 2013. Salmonella enteritidis is superior in egg white survival compared with other Salmonella serotypes. Poult. Sci. 92(3):842-845. doi: 10.3382/ps.2012-02668

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