Raw vegetables have been linked to many outbreaks of Salmonella foodborne; however there is few data on the presence of this bacteria in raw vegetables in Côte d'Ivoire. The objective of this study is to determine the prevalence, diversity and antibiotic resistance level of Salmonella strains in vegetables salads and ready-to-eat raw mixed vegetable salads in Abidjan. From a total of 552 samples, Salmonella strains were biochemically and molecularly identified by detection of the 16S rRNA gene and serotyping with specific antisera. The antibiotic resistance level was phenotypically determined by disc diffusion method and the presence of the gene encoding for resistance was determined by PCR. The prevalence of Salmonella spp in vegetables salads and ready-to-eat raw mixed vegetable salads was 8.54 and 2.61%, respectively. The serotypes identified were S. typhimurium, S. enteritidis, S. selby, S. hadar, S. typhy, S. paratyphi C and S. adamstown. It was observed that there were non-resistant (tetracycline and streptomycin) and multiresistant (nalidixic acid and ciprofloxacin) strains. Genes, such as tetA, tetB, aaa  -IV and QnrA were highlighted at different proportion. Vegetable’s salads and ready-to-eat raw mixed vegetable salads in Abidjan contain various serotypes of Salmonella spp. displaying resistant to antibiotics and harboring the genes encoding for resistance. It is important to make subsequent risk control to evaluate and prevent possible food poisoning.
Key words: Salmonella, vegetables salads, Abidjan, prevalence, antibiotic resistance.
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