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First outbreak of food poisoning caused by Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serovar Berta in Italy
- Di Giannatale, E., Sacchini, L., Persiani, T., Alessiani, A., Marotta, F., Zilli, K.
- Letters in applied microbiology 2012 v.55 no.2 pp. 122-127
- Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Berta, antibiotics, cream, desserts, eggs, epidemiological studies, food handling, food sanitation, foodborne illness, genotyping, humans, hygiene, phenotype, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, serotypes, summer, temperature, Italy
- Aims: To provide an epidemiologic interpretation of a suspected outbreak of food poisoning caused by Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serovar Berta strains isolated from humans and from the leftovers of the implicated foods (cream, dairy‐based desserts and eggs). Methods and Results: We have correlated the similarity between the strains through genotyping with Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE), studying antimicrobial sensitivity patterns and epidemiological investigation. The clonal origin of the outbreak was confirmed by all laboratory tests. PFGE analysis of the restriction profiles obtained with XbaI and SpeI revealed a certainly correlation from the strains isolated from the various sources, while the antimicrobial sensitivity pattern was the same in all cases, with all strains sensitive to all antibiotics tested. Conclusions: Poor hygiene conditions in the facility concerned, lack of hygiene in food handling, high summer temperatures and positive cultures from asymptomatic staff could all be implicated in the infection, with food being the means through which it spread. Significance and Impact of the Study: This study describes the first outbreak of food poisoning caused by Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serovar Berta (Salmonella Berta) reported in Italy. It confirms the importance of correlating epidemiological investigations with genotyping and phenotyping to understand the dynamics of infection.