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Enterobacter sakazakii: Infectivity and Enterotoxin Production In Vitro and In Vivo

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Abstract:

Enterobacter sakazakii has been implicated as the causal organism in a severe form of neonatal meningitis, with reported mortality rates of 40 to 80%. Dried infant formula has been identified as a potential source of the organism in both outbreaks and sporadic cases. In this study, clinical and foodborne isolates of E. sakazakii were evaluated for enterotoxin production by the suckling mouse assay. In addition, suckling mice were challenged both orally and by intraperitoneal injection. Of 18 E. sakazakii strains evaluated, four were found to test positive for enterotoxin production. All strains of E. sakazakii were lethal to suckling mice at 108 CFU per mouse by intraperitoneal injection, while two strains caused death by the peroral route. In in vitro assays, CHO, Vero, and Y-1 cells demonstrated both cell lysis and rounding when exposed to E. sakazakii strain LA filtrates. This is the first report describing any putative virulence factors of E. sakazakii.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Bureau of Microbial Hazards, Food Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada, Postal Locator 2204A, Ottawa, Canada, K1A 0C6 2: Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Building 22, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0C6 3: Bureau of Microbial Hazards, Food Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada, Postal Locator 2204A, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0L2 4: Bureau of Microbial Hazards, Food Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada, Postal Locator 2204A, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0L2

Publication date: 2003-03-01

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