Comparison of Bacterial Isolates from a Suspected Food Poisoning Outbreak at a Post-partum Care Center

Yu-Lan Wang

2008 Vol.24 NO.11

Correspondence Author: Yu-Lan Wang


Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most common pathogens causing food poisoning in Taiwan. Secreted by the bacteria, the enterotoxin is heat-stable, and resistant to degradation by digestive enzymes. Symptoms of staphylococcal food poisoning are nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The Research and Diagnostic Center of the Centers of Disease Control received post-mortem samples of a male infant and a female child, suspected to be part of a larger food poisoning outbreak at a post-partum care center, on August 30 and September 5, 2007, respectively. No clinical significant bacteria were isolated from the male infant. Staphylococcus aureus was isolated from swabs of the throat, intestine, liver, kidney, and spleen from the female child. In addition, on October 17, 2007, the Research and Diagnostic Center also received Staphylococcus aureus isolates from the hand of a food handler taken on August 27. Comparison of the five isolates from both persons was performed to understand the association between the two persons. The results showed that the two groups of Staphylococcus aureus produced enterotoxin A, but their antibiotic sensitivity, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and multilocus sequence typing patterns were different. Therefore, we conclude that the Staphylococcus aureus isolates from the child and the food handler were different.
Keywords:Staphylococcus aureus, staphylococcal enterotoxins, antimicrobial susceptibility pattern, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, multilocus sequence typing