Staphylococcal Poisoning Foodborne Outbreak: Epidemiological Investigation and Strain Genotyping
Abstract:In June 2011, an outbreak of Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin food poisoning gastroenteritis occurred in Turin, Italy, following a catered dinner party at a private home. Within a few hours, 26 of the 47 guests experienced gastrointestinal illness, and 9 were hospitalized. A retrospective cohort study using a standardized questionnaire was carried out, and the risk ratios for each food item were calculated. The analysis indicated consumption of seafood salad as the most probable cause of the outbreak (risk ratio = 11.72; 95 % confidence interval, 1.75 to 78.54). Biological samples were collected from four of the hospitalized guests (stool and vomit), nasal mucosa swabs from three food handlers employed with the caterer, and available food residuals. All stool and vomit samples tested positive for enterotoxigenic S. aureus. As residues of the seafood salad were no longer available for sampling, suspected contamination could not be verified. However, no other food was found contaminated by S. aureus or its enterotoxins. All isolates from the biological samples were characterized at the genomic level by means of two multiplex PCR protocols to determine the presence of genes encoding staphylococcal enterotoxins, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and staphylococcal protein A gene (spa) typing to describe their genetic profiles. All the isolates presented genes encoding SEA and SEI; the pulsed-field gel electrophoresis genetic profiles revealed the same pulsotype in the microorganism isolated from the hospitalized guests as in one of the isolates from a food handler's nasal mucosa, and the spa typing analysis reported two closely related spa types (t701 and t267), implicating the food handler as the most likely outbreak source.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: National Reference Laboratory Stafilococchi coagulasi positivi compreso S. aureus-Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte, Liguria e Valle d'Aosta, via Bologna, 148-10154 Torino, Italy 2: Struttura Complessa Controllo Alimenti e Igiene delle Produzioni-Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte, Liguria e Valle d'Aosta, via Bologna, 148-10154 Torino, Italy 3: Struttura Complessa Microbiologia Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria San Giovanni Battista, Torino, Italy 4: Dipartimento di Scienze della Sanità Pubblica e Pediatriche, Università di Torino, Piazza Polonia, 94-10126 Torino, Italy 5: Dipartimento di Scienze della Sanità Pubblica e Pediatriche, Università di Torino, Piazza Polonia, 94-10126 Torino, Italy. firstname.lastname@example.org 6: National Reference Laboratory Stafilococchi coagulasi positivi compreso S. aureus-Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte, Struttura Complessa Controllo Alimenti e Igiene delle Produzioni-Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte, Liguria e Valle d'Aosta, via Bologna, 148-10154 Torino, Italy
Publication date: December 1, 2013
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