Infant food production environments: A potential reservoir for vancomycin-resistant enterococci non-nosocomial infections

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Abstract

Enterococcus has been considered one of the most important nosocomial pathogens for human infections, and the hospital environment is an important reservoir for vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) that leads to antimicrobial therapeutic failure. However, infant foods and their production environments could pose risks for the immature population, while this question remains unaddressed. This study conducted an extensive and thorough Enterococcus isolation, VRE risk assessment of the Chinese infant food production chains and additional online-marketing infant foods, including powdered infant formula (PIF) and infant complementary food (ICF). To investigate the prevalence of Enterococcus along infant food chains and commodities, a total of 482 strains of Enterococcus, including E. faecium (n = 363), E. faecalis (n = 84), E. casseliflavus (n = 13), E. mundtii (n = 12), E. gallinarum (n = 4), E. hirae (n = 4), and E. durans (n = 2) were recovered from 459 samples collected from infant food production chains (71/254) and food commodities (67/205). A decreasing trend for Enterococcus detection rate was found in the PIF production chain (PIF-PC), particularly during the preparation of the PIF base powder (From 100 % in raw milk to 8.70 % in end products), while an increasing trend was observed in the ICF production chain (ICF-PC) mainly during the initial processing of farm crops and the further processing of the product (20 % at farm crops increasing to 76.92 % at end products). The result indicated that the PIF-PC process effectively reduced Enterococcus contamination, while the ICF-PC showed the opposite trend. Importantly, eleven VRE isolates were recovered from the infant food production chain, including seven E. casseliflavus isolates carrying vanC2/C3 and four E. gallinarum isolates carrying vanC1. Ten VRE isolates were from food production environments. Collectively, our study demonstrated that infant food production environments represent potential reservoirs for VRE non-nosocomial infections in vulnerable populations.

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APA

Wang, Z., Liao, S., Huang, G., Feng, M., Yin, R., Teng, L., … Li, Y. (2023). Infant food production environments: A potential reservoir for vancomycin-resistant enterococci non-nosocomial infections. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 389. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2023.110105

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