Microbiological and genomic investigations of invasive Salmonella enterica serovar Panama from a large outbreak in Taiwan

Ye Feng, Chyi Liang Chen, Yi Jung Chang, Yi Hua Li, Chien Shun Chiou, Lin Hui Su, Hsin Chieh Li, Hsin Ping Yang, Cheng Hsun Chiu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background/purpose: Salmonella Panama was considered an invasive non-typhoidal Salmonella (iNTS) serovar. Comprehensive clinical, microbiological, and genomic studies on S. Panama are scarce. We aimed to characterize the clinical and microbiological characteristics of S. Panama infection. Virulence mechanism of S. Panama and other iNTS serovars were also examined. Methods: Based on data from the longitudinal surveillance system for Salmonella deployed in Taiwan since 2004, a case–control study was undertaken to evaluate clinical characteristics of S. Panama infection during an outbreak in 2015–2016. Cellular experiments were conducted to compare pathogenicity of S. Panama and other iNTS with S. Typhimurium. Results: Most patients (41/44, 93.2%) infected by S. Panama were <5 years old (median, 1.3 years). The case–control study showed that 28 out of the 41 (68.3%) manifested as bacteremia, compared to S. Typhimurium (11.1%). Patients infected by S. Panama had longer durations of fever (P = 0.005) and hospitalization (P < 0.001). Genomic analyses split the isolates into three clades: two clones caused the outbreak, whereas another one accounted for the sporadic infections before 2015. Cellular experiments revealed that S. Panama and other iNTS serovars showed higher monolayer penetration and intracellular survival within macrophages, compared to S. Typhimurium. Conclusion: This study confirmed that S. Panama is a clinically invasive serovar. Different iNTS serovars express common virulence phenotypes, but they may acquire invasiveness through distinct expression or combinations of virulence genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)660-669
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Formosan Medical Association
Issue number3
StatePublished - 03 2022

Bibliographical note

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© 2021


  • Bacteremia
  • Case-control study
  • Intracellular survival
  • Outbreak
  • Salmonella


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