Epidemiology and Infection

Research Article

A comparative study of strains of salmonella isolated from irrigation waters, vegetables and human infections

B. Garcia-Villanova Ruiza1, A. Cueto Espinara2 and M. J. Bolaños Carmonaa3

a1 Department of Food Science, Toxicology and Applied Chemical Analysis, Facility of Pharmacy, University of Granada, Spain

a2 Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Granada, Spain

a3 Department of Biostatistics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Granada, Spain


A total of 181 samples of irrigation water from the farmlands of Granada were examined for the presence of Salmonellaspp. At the same time 849 samples of the crops from these farmlands and of vegetables sold in city market-places were studied. Sampling was done regularly over the period of study which ran from March 1981 to February 1983. Isolates from these sources were compared with 93 salmonellas isolated from human pathological material at various hospitals of the city of Granada from 1979–80, and again from 1981–3.

The most commonly isolated serotypes of human origin were S. typhimurium and S. enteritidis. In irrigation waters and in crops, S. typhimurium, S. kapemba, S. london and S. blockley were found to be the most common. The results indicate a close relationship between the isolates from the irrigation waters and those from the vegetables, but their relationship to prevalent human infections is less clear.

(Accepted October 13 1986)