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A New Protocol for the Detection of Enterobacter sakazakii Applied to Environmental Samples

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Enterobacter sakazakii is a motile, peritrichous, gram-negative rod that was previously known as a yellow pigmented Enterobacter cloacae. It is documented as a rare cause of outbreaks and sporadic cases of life-threatening neonatal meningitis, necrotizing enterocolitis, and sepsis. E. sakazakii has been isolated from milk powder-based formulas, and there is thus a need to investigate whether and where E. sakazakii occurs in these manufacturing environments. For this purpose, a simple detection method was developed based on two features of E. sakazakii: its yellow pigmented colonies when grown on tryptone soy agar and its constitutive α-glucosidase, which is detected in a 4-h colorimetric assay. Using this screening method, E. sakazakii strains were isolated from three individual factories from 18 of 152 environmental samples, such as scrapings from dust, vacuum cleaner bags, and spilled product near equipment. The method is useful for routine screening of environmental samples for the presence of E. sakazakii.


Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: 1: Wageningen University, Laboratory of Food Microbiology, P.O. Box 8129, 6700 EV Wageningen, The Netherlands 2: Nestlé Research Centre, Quality and Safety Assurance Department, P.O. Box 44, CH-1000 Lausanne 26, Switzerland

Publication date: June 1, 2004

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