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Foodborne Outbreak Caused by Staphylococcus aureus: Phenotypic and Genotypic Characterization of Strains of Food and Human Sources

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An outbreak of staphylococcal food poisoning involving approximately 180 people occurred in Brodowski, São Paulo State, Brazil, in April 1998. Strains of Staphylococcus aureus isolated from foods and food handlers, implicated as the etiologic agent, were characterized with phenotypic (phage typing, antibiotic susceptibility test, and enterotoxin production), and genotypic (random amplified polymorphic DNA) characterization. Strains isolated from vegetable salad with mayonnaise sauce, broiled chicken, pasta in tomato sauce, and from the oropharyngeal secretions of five food handlers—A, B, C, H, and I—showed the same phage profile and antibiotic resistance. Random amplified polymorphic DNA generated 17 combined profiles with primers OPE-20 and OPA-7. The similarity of strains was analyzed by generating a dendrogram that classified the 59 strains of S. aureus into four major clusters (I, II, III, and IV). Strains from four food handlers (A, B, H, and I) and from vegetable salad with mayonnaise, broiled chicken, and pasta in tomato sauce showing the same phage type profile and resistance to antibiotics belonged to the same cluster and produced staphylococcal enterotoxin A. Therefore, these foods and food handlers were incriminated in the outbreak.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Depto. Alimentos e Nutrição Experimental, Fac. Ciências Farmacêuticas, São Paulo, USP, Brazil 2: Instituto Adolfo Lutz, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, SP, Brazil 3: Depto. Análises Clinicas e Toxicológicas, Fac. Ciências Farmacêuticas, São Paulo, USP, Brazil

Publication date: February 1, 2007

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