Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Deirdre Gilroy

Second Advisor

Dr. Fidelma Boyd

Third Advisor

Dr. Jerry Reen


Salmonella is an extremely important foodborne pathogen which is responsible for millions of cases of gastroenteritis annually. Salmonella outbreaks have been associated with numerous common food stuffs such as meat, dairy and seafood. Traditional culture based methods for the detection Salmonella are labourious and costly. Rapid detection and serovar identification would dramatically decrease the time required to identify Salmonella outbreaks and potential health risks.

In the US 99% of all Salmonella infections are caused by members of Salmonella enterica subspecies 1. Serovars within subspecies 1 can vary due to host specificity and pathogenicity. DNA sequencing projects have provided valuable genomic information on Salmonella serovars that can be used to detect and differentiate between serovars and to investigate their identity and possible reasons for serovar variation.

In this study we used available genome information and performed comparative genomic analysis to identify potential novel regions that could be used as molecular markers to detect Salmonella serovars, particularly S. enterica Typhimurium and Heidelberg. We developed and optimised a rapid mPCR assay and investigated its ability to detect Salmonella serovars in various food matrices (raw turkey meat, cooked turkey meat and cheddar cheese). Furthermore we adapted this assay into a real-time PCR assay.

Access Level