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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(2), 199; doi:10.3390/ijerph13020199

Virulence Factors and Antibiotic Susceptibility of Staphylococcus aureus Isolates in Ready-to-Eat Foods: Detection of S. aureus Contamination and a High Prevalence of Virulence Genes

Department of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 3 December 2015 / Revised: 28 January 2016 / Accepted: 29 January 2016 / Published: 5 February 2016
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Abstract

Staphylococcus aureus is one of the leading causes of food poisoning. Its pathogenicity results from the possession of virulence genes that produce different toxins which result in self-limiting to severe illness often requiring hospitalization. In this study of 200 sushi and sashimi samples, S. aureus contamination was confirmed in 26% of the food samples. The S. aureus isolates were further characterized for virulence genes and antibiotic susceptibility. A high incidence of virulence genes was identified in 96.2% of the isolates and 20 different virulence gene profiles were confirmed. DNA amplification showed that 30.8% (16/52) of the S. aureus carried at least one SE gene which causes staphylococcal food poisoning. The most common enterotoxin gene was seg (11.5%) and the egc cluster was detected in 5.8% of the isolates. A combination of hla and hld was the most prevalent coexistence virulence genes and accounted for 59.6% of all isolates. Antibiotic resistance studies showed tetracycline resistance to be the most common at 28.8% while multi-drug resistance was found to be low at 3.8%. In conclusion, the high rate of S. aureus in the sampled sushi and sashimi indicates the need for food safety guidelines. View Full-Text
Keywords: antibiotic resistance; sashimi; Staphylococcus aureus; sushi; virulence genes antibiotic resistance; sashimi; Staphylococcus aureus; sushi; virulence genes
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Puah, S.M.; Chua, K.H.; Tan, J.A.M.A. Virulence Factors and Antibiotic Susceptibility of Staphylococcus aureus Isolates in Ready-to-Eat Foods: Detection of S. aureus Contamination and a High Prevalence of Virulence Genes. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 199.

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