Salmonella enterica serovar Montevideo has been linked to recent foodborne illness outbreaks resulting from contamination of products such as fruits, vegetables, seeds and spices. Studies have shown that Montevideo also is frequently associated with healthy cattle and can be isolated from ground beef, yet human salmonellosis outbreaks of Montevideo associated with ground beef contamination are rare. This disparity fuelled our interest in characterizing the genomic differences between Montevideo strains isolated from healthy cattle and beef products, and those isolated from human patients and outbreak sources. To that end, we sequenced 13 Montevideo strains to completion, producing high-quality genome assemblies of isolates from human patients (n=8) or from healthy cattle at slaughter (n=5). Comparative analysis of sequence data from this study and publicly available sequences (n=72) shows that Montevideo falls into four previously established clades, differentially occupied by cattle and human strains. The results of these analyses reveal differences in metabolic islands, environmental adhesion determinants and virulence factors within each clade, and suggest explanations for the infrequent association between bovine isolates and human illnesses.
Journal: Microbial genomics