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Data from: Detection of Salmonella enterica and Listeria monocytogenes in alternative irrigation water by culture and qPCR-based methods in the Mid-Atlantic U.S.

posted on 2024-02-21, 17:34 authored by Manan SharmaManan Sharma, Alan Gutierrez, Chanelle Acheamfour, Zirui Ray Xiong, Salina Parveen, Fawzy M. Hashem

Alternative irrigation waters (rivers, ponds, and reclaimed water) can harbor bacterial foodborne pathogens like Salmonella enterica and Listeria monocytogenes, potentially contaminating fruit and vegetable commodities. Detecting foodborne pathogens using qPCR-based methods may accelerate testing methods and procedures compared to culture-based methods. This study compared detection of S. enterica and L. monocytogenes by qPCR (real-time PCR) and culture methods in irrigation waters to determine the influence of water type (river, pond, and reclaimed water), season (winter, spring, summer, and fall), or volume (0.1, 1, and 10 L) on sensitivity, accuracy, specificity, and positive (PPV), and negative (NPV) predictive values of these methods. Water samples were collected by filtration through modified Moore swabs (MMS) over a 2-year period at 11 sites in the Mid-Atlantic U.S. on a bi-weekly or monthly schedule. For qPCR, bacterial DNA from culture-enriched samples (n = 1,990) was analyzed by multiplex qPCR specific for S. enterica and L. monocytogenes. For culture detection, enriched samples were selectively enriched, isolated, and PCR confirmed. PPVs for qPCR detection of S. enterica and L. monocytogenes were 68% and 67%, respectively. The NPV were 87% (S. enterica) and 85% (L. monocytogenes). Higher levels of qPCR/culture agreement were observed in spring and summer compared to fall and winter for S. enterica; for L. monocytogenes, lower levels of agreement were observed in winter compared to spring, summer, and fall. Reclaimed and pond water supported higher levels of qPCR/culture agreement compared to river water for both S. enterica and L. monocytogenes, indicating that water type may influence the agreement of these results.


CONSERVE: A Center of Excellence at the Nexus of Sustainable Water Reuse, Food, and Health

National Institute of Food and Agriculture

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USDA-ARS: 804242610-001-000-D


Data contact name

Sharma, Manan

Data contact email


Ag Data Commons

Temporal Extent Start Date


Temporal Extent End Date



  • monthly


  • Not specified

Geographic location - description

Mid-Atlantic region, United States of America

ISO Topic Category

  • inlandWaters

National Agricultural Library Thesaurus terms

Listeria monocytogenes; irrigation; United States; Salmonella enterica; recycled water; quantitative polymerase chain reaction; data collection

OMB Bureau Code

  • 005:18 - Agricultural Research Service

OMB Program Code

  • 005:040 - National Research

ARS National Program Number

  • 108

Pending citation

  • Yes

Public Access Level

  • Public

Preferred dataset citation

Sharma, M., Gutierrez, A., Acheamfour, C., Xiong, Z., Hashem, F.M., Parveen, S. 2024. Data from: Detection of Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes in non-traditional irrigation water in the Mid-Atlantic United States.