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Int J Food Microbiol. 2005 Sep 25;104(1):1-34.

Enterobacter sakazakii: a coliform of increased concern to infant health.

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Center for Food Safety and Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Georgia, 1109 Experiment Street, Griffin, GA 30223-1797, USA.


The first cases of neonatal meningitis believed to have been caused by Enterobacter sakazakii were reported in 1961. Prompted by several subsequent outbreaks of E. sakazakii infections in neonates and an increasing number of neonates in intensive care units being fed rehydrated powdered infant formula, considered to be a source of the pathogen, public health authorities and researchers are exploring ways to eliminate the bacterium or control its growth in dry infant formula, processing environments and formula preparation areas in hospitals. Reviewed here are advances in taxonomy and classification of E. sakazakii, methods of detecting, isolating and typing the bacterium, antibiotic resistance, clinical etiology and pathogenicity. Outbreaks of E. sakazakii infections in neonates and adults are summarized. Reports on the presence of E. sakazakii in clinical settings, the environment and foods and food processing facilities are reviewed. Tolerance of the pathogen to environmental stresses, its behavior in powdered and rehydrated infant formulae and hazard analysis and risk management are discussed. Research needs are presented.

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