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J Food Prot. 2008 Jul;71(7):1372-8.

Evaluation of an automated repetitive sequence-based PCR system for subtyping Enterobacter sakazakii.

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Centre for Food Safety, School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.


Enterobacter sakazakii is regarded as a ubiquitous organism that can be isolated from a wide range of foods and environments. Infection in at-risk infants has been epidemiologically linked to the consumption of contaminated powdered infant formula. Preventing the dissemination of this pathogen in a powdered infant formula manufacturing facility is an important step in ensuring consumer confidence in a given brand together with the protection of the health status of a vulnerable population. In this study we report the application of a repetitive sequence-based PCR typing method to subtype a previously well-characterized collection of E. sakazakii isolates of diverse origin. While both methods successfully discriminated between the collection of isolates, repetitive sequence-based PCR identified 65 types, whereas pulsed-field gel electrophoresis identified 110 types showing > or =95% similarity. The method was quick and easy to perform, and our data demonstrated the utility and value of this approach to monitor in-process contamination, which could potentially contribute to a reduction in the transmission of E. sakazakii.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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