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Chicken Salad as the Source of a Case of Listeria monocytogenes Infection in Connecticut

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Listeriosis is a severe infection with high morbidity and mortality. We report a fatal case of listeriosis in a patient with a history of Crohn's disease who consumed chicken salad purchased from a retail food establishment before developing listeriosis. As part of the regulatory testing programs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs found that chicken products from a single food-production establishment were contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, resulting in a product recall. The case patient's Listeria isolate was subtyped by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and matched the Listeria isolates from the recalled chicken products. Identification of the source of Listeria involved collaboration among two state public health laboratories and epidemiologists and state and federal regulatory agencies. PFGE typing can be used to reveal correlations between clusters of human illness and contaminated food products and to rapidly identify sources of Listeria infection to allow implementation of corrective actions at both the state and national levels.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Public Health, Emerging Infections Program, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06510, USA. 2: School of Public Health, Emerging Infections Program, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06510, USA 3: State Public Health Laboratory, Connecticut Department of Public Health, Hartford, Connecticut 06134, USA 4: Epidemiology and Emerging Infections, Connecticut Department of Public Health, Hartford, Connecticut 06134, USA 5: Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch, Division of Foodborne, Bacterial, and Mycotic Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA 6: Hinton State Laboratory Institute, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts 02130, USA 7: Bureau of Food Laboratories, Division of Food Safety, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Tallahassee, Florida 32399, USA 8: Applied Epidemiology Division, Office of Public Health Science, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Atlanta, Georgia 30303, USA

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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