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Identification of Sources of Salmonella in Watersheds and Characterization of Multiple Antimicrobial Resistant Strains

Thousands of acres of shellfish beds along coastal North Carolina are closed to harvesting due to elevated levels of bacteria (Baker, 2001). It’s assumed that bacterial contamination such as Salmonella spp. has been resulted from human activities such as farming, forestry, and factors associated with urbanization. The objectives of the study are


  • To determine sources of bacterial contamination.  Four watersheds in the coastal North Carolina zone with various land uses of livestock swine production, residential/ industrial, row-crop agriculture and forestry are included in the study.



  • To determine multidrug resistance patterns and their genetic fingerprints to track sources of Salmonella contamination in the four watersheds.


    pigs     lagoon

    creek    woods


           Different watershed systems and monitoring sites in eastern part of North Carolina

Phenotypes by using antibiograms has been useful as a screening tool for differentiating sources of bacterial contamination and could assist resource managers in developing strategies to more effectively manage watersheds impacted by multiple pollution sources including shellfish harvesting. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and cluster analysis was used to generate DNA fingerprinting and compare for the Salmonella pulsotypes.    
Reference:  Baker, B. 2001. Cleaning Up the Creek. Rural Electrification 59(5):26-29.


IDMEL personnel:

Prapas Patchanee (PhD student)
Wondwossen A. Gebreyes (Principle Investigator)

Other Collaborators: 

Nancy White (Coastal Studies Institute)
Daniel Line (Dept. of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, North Carolina State University)
Damian Shea (Dept. of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, North Carolina State University)


USDA CSREES 2004-2007