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Epidemiol Infect. 1994 Feb;112(1):25-31.

Use of plasmid profile typing for surveillance of Salmonella enteritidis phage type 4 from humans, poultry and eggs.

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Laboratory of Enteric Pathogens, Central Public Health Laboratory, London.


Plasmids were found in 1022 of 1089 (94%) of drug-sensitive strains of Salmonella enteritidis phage type 4 from humans (sporadic and outbreak cases), poultry (chickens) and eggs in England and Wales in the 5-year period 1988-92 and 25 plasmid profile patterns were identified. Strains characterized by a single plasmid of 38 MDa predominated (= plasmid profile type SE 38), comprising over 90% of isolates from humans, 70% from poultry and 92% from eggs. Eleven profile types were identified in strains from humans, 21 in strains from poultry and 3 in strains from eggs. Eight of the 11 patterns identified in human isolates were found in strains from poultry and 2 in strains from eggs. In contrast 15 patterns seen in poultry were not found in strains from humans. Four percent of strains from humans and 13% from poultry did not carry the 38 MDa plasmid but all strains from eggs were found to carry this plasmid. The second most common profile type in strains isolated between 1981 and 1988 was not identified in strains isolated from 1988-92. It is concluded that plasmid profile typing is a useful method for rapid differentiation within phage type 4 of S. enteritidis but that methods which can discriminate within the predominant profile type, SE 38, are now required.

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