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Int J Food Microbiol. 2009 Dec 31;136(2):214-20. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2009.08.006. Epub 2009 Aug 9.

Desiccation resistance and persistence of Cronobacter species in infant formula.

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1
Department of Nutrition and Food Technology, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, 22110, Jordan.

Abstract

Cronobacter is a newly described genus which includes opportunistic pathogens formerly known as 'Enterobacter sakazakii'. These organisms have been isolated from a wide variety of sources, including powdered infant formula (PIF). This review focuses on the desiccation survival of Cronobacter, and its relevance to vehicles of infection. Due to its probable natural habitat of plant material, the organism has an array of survival mechanisms which includes resistance to desiccation and osmotic stresses. The organism can survive for long periods of time (>2years) in the desiccated state, and can be recovered from a large number of powdered foods in addition to powdered infant formula. On reconstitution, the organism may rapidly multiply and present a risk to immunocompromised infants. It is expected that an improved understanding of the nature of Cronobacter persistence may aid in further improved control measures and eliminate the bacterium from the critical food production environments.

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