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Toxins 2015, 7(3), 997-1004; doi:10.3390/toxins7030997

Further Evidence for Staphylococcal Food Poisoning Outbreaks Caused by egc-Encoded Enterotoxins

1
Institute for Food Safety and Hygiene, Vetsuisse Faculty University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 272, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
2
Cantonal Laboratory, Via Mirasole 22, 6500 Bellinzona, Switzerland
3
Agroscope, Institute for Food Sciences, Schwarzenburgerstrasse 161, 3003 Bern, Switzerland
4
Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office, Schwarzenburgerstrasse 155, 3003 Bern, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sang Ho Choi
Received: 23 December 2014 / Accepted: 18 March 2015 / Published: 20 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Toxins)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [391 KB, uploaded 20 March 2015]

Abstract

Staphylococcal food poisoning represents the most prevalent foodborne intoxication worldwide. It is caused by oral intake of enterotoxins preformed by Staphylococcus aureus in food. The relevance of newly described enterotoxins in outbreaks of staphylococcal food poisoning is controversially discussed. Although the staphylococcal enterotoxins SEG, SEI, SEM, SEN, and SEO elicit emesis in a monkey feeding assay, there has been no conclusive proof of their emetic activity in humans. In this study, we provide further evidence suggesting that one of these enterotoxins or a combination of SEG, SEI, SEM, SEN, and SEO cause staphylococcal food poisoning. We investigated two outbreaks registered with the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, in which only Staphylococcus aureus strains harboring the egc cluster, including seg, sei, sem, sen, and seo linked to typical signs of staphylococcal food poisoning were isolated. The outbreaks were caused by consumption of raw goat cheese and semi-hard goat cheese, and were linked to strains assigned to CC45 (agr type I) and CC9 (agr type II), respectively. These outbreaks provide further evidence that newly-described staphylococcal enterotoxins are likely to cause staphylococcal food poisoning in humans. View Full-Text
Keywords: staphylococcal food poisoning; enterotoxin; seg; sei; outbreak investigation; Staphylococcus aureus staphylococcal food poisoning; enterotoxin; seg; sei; outbreak investigation; Staphylococcus aureus
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

Johler, S.; Giannini, P.; Jermini, M.; Hummerjohann, J.; Baumgartner, A.; Stephan, R. Further Evidence for Staphylococcal Food Poisoning Outbreaks Caused by egc-Encoded Enterotoxins. Toxins 2015, 7, 997-1004.

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