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Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2012 Mar;9(3):245-8. doi: 10.1089/fpd.2011.0992. Epub 2012 Jan 27.

An outbreak of Salmonella serotype Typhimurium infections with an unusually long incubation period.

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  • 1Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases Branch, Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.


A 1998 investigation of an outbreak of Salmonella serotype Typhimurium infections among children tasting unpasteurized milk during tours of a dairy farm demonstrated a distribution of unusually long incubation periods (median, 8 days; interquartile range [IQR], 6-14 days). Bacterial isolates were highly acid tolerant and contained genes associated with protection against destructive phagocytic reactive oxygen intermediates. We hypothesize that exposure to low-dose oral inoculum of a pathogen with these properties could have contributed to cases of non-typhoidal salmonellosis with the longest incubation period reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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