Salmonella Typhimurium is the most dominant Salmonella serovar around the world. It is associated with foodborne gastroenteritis outbreaks but has recently been associated with invasive illness and deaths. Characterization of S. Typhimurium is therefore very crucial for epidemiological surveillance. Phage typing has been used for decades for subtyping of S. Typhimurium to determine the epidemiological relation among isolates. Recent studies however have suggested that high throughput clustered regular interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) typing has the potential to replace phage typing. This study aimed to determine the efficacy of highthroughput CRISPR typing over conventional phage typing in epidemiological surveillance and outbreak investigation of S. Typhimurium.
In silico analysis of whole genome sequences (WGS) of well-documented phage types of S. Typhimurium reveals the presence of different CRISPR type among strains
belong to the same phage type. Furthermore, different phage types of S. Typhimurium share identical CRISPR type. Interestingly, identical spacers were detected among outbreak and non-outbreak associated DT8 strains of S. Typhimurium. Therefore, CRISPR typing is not useful for the epidemiological surveillance and outbreak investigation of S. Typhimurium and phage typing, until it is replaced by WGS, is still the gold standard method for epidemiological surveillance of S. Typhimurium.