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Evaluation of an Automated Repetitive Sequence–Based PCR System for Subtyping Enterobacter sakazakii

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Enterobacter sakazakii is regarded as a ubiquitous organism that can be isolated from a wide range of foods and environments. Infection in at-risk infants has been epidemiologically linked to the consumption of contaminated powdered infant formula. Preventing the dissemination of this pathogen in a powdered infant formula manufacturing facility is an important step in ensuring consumer confidence in a given brand together with the protection of the health status of a vulnerable population. In this study we report the application of a repetitive sequence–based PCR typing method to subtype a previously well-characterized collection of E. sakazakii isolates of diverse origin. While both methods successfully discriminated between the collection of isolates, repetitive sequence–based PCR identified 65 types, whereas pulsed-field gel electrophoresis identified 110 types showing ≥95% similarity. The method was quick and easy to perform, and our data demonstrated the utility and value of this approach to monitor in-process contamination, which could potentially contribute to a reduction in the transmission of E. sakazakii.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centre for Food Safety, School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland 2: bioMérieux, La Balme Les Grottes, France 3: Institute for Food Safety & Hygiene, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland 4: bioMérieux, Marcy l'Etoile, France

Publication date: July 1, 2008

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