Main content area

Laboratory Review of Foodborne Disease Investigations in Washington State 2007–2017

Swoveland, Jennifer L., Stewart, Laurie K., Eckmann, Mary Kaye, Gee, Raymond, Allen, Krisandra J., Vandegrift, Calley M., Olson, Gina, Kang, Mi-Gyeong, Tran, Michael L., Melius, Elizabeth, Hiatt, Brian, Gautom, Romesh K., Perez-Osorio, Ailyn C.
Foodborne pathogens & disease 2019 v.16 no.7 pp. 513-523
Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, beef, dairy products, foodborne illness, high-throughput nucleotide sequencing, public health, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, raw chicken meat, Washington (state)
The Washington State Department of Health Public Health Laboratories (WAPHL) has tested 11,501 samples between 2007 and 2017 for a foodborne disease using a combination of identification, serotyping, and subtyping tools. During this period there were 8037 total clinical and environmental samples tested by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), including 512 foodborne disease clusters and 2176 PFGE patterns of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica. There were 2446 Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli samples tested by PFGE, which included 158 foodborne disease clusters and 1174 PFGE patterns. There were 332 samples of Listeria monocytogenes tested by PFGE, including 35 foodborne disease clusters and 104 PFGE patterns. Sources linked to outbreaks included raw chicken, unpasteurized dairy products, various produce types, and undercooked beef among others. As next-generation sequencing (NGS) replaces PFGE, the impact of this transition is expected to be significant given the enhanced cluster detection power NGS brings. The measures presented here will be a reference baseline in future years.