This study aimed to characterize the Salmonella spp. distribution in a poultry processing facility, and to identify their antibiotic resistance profiles. S. enterica was detected in 146 samples (66.7%), and 125 isolates were identified as S. Heidelberg (n = 123), S. Abony (n = 1) and S. O:4,5 (n = 1). S. Heidelberg isolates were subjected to XbaI macrorestriction and PFGE, resulting in 66 pulsotypes grouped in 4 major clusters and demonstrating the cross contamination and persistence of this serotype in the processing facility. Also, S. enterica selected isolates were subjected to antibiotic resistance characterization, with most being categorized as multidrug resistant (n = 122, 97.6%). The resistance to third generation cephalosporins was particularly high: ceftazidime (n = 84, 67.2%) and cefotaxime and ceftriaxone (n = 91, 72.8%). Production of extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBL) was identified in 24 isolates (19.2%) and ESBL-producing isolates were resistant to at least eight different antibiotics. The study highlighted the occurrence and the distribution of S. Heidelberg in the poultry chain, allowing proper understanding of the ecology of this pathogen in the studied facility. Also, the presence of multidrug resistant S. enterica at high frequencies is a concern due to the potential consequences for public health.
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