Isolation, molecular and phenotypic characterization, and antibiotic susceptibility of Cronobacter spp. from Brazilian retail foods

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Abstract

Several Cronobacter species are opportunistic pathogens that cause infections in humans. The aim of this study was to detect Cronobacter spp. from 90 samples of retail foods in Brazil, and characterize the strains by phenotypic tests, molecular assays and antibiotic susceptibility. Three isolation methodologies were evaluated using different selective enrichments and the isolates were identified using Vitek 2.0, PCRs protocols, fusA allele sequencing and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Thirty-eight samples (42.2%) contained Cronobacter spp., and the highest percentage was found in flours (66.7%, 20/30), followed by spices and herbs (36.7%, 11/30), and cereal mixes for children (23.3%, 7/30). The 45 isolates included four species: C. sakazakii (n = 37), C. malonaticus (n = 3), C. dublinensis (n = 3), and C. muytjensii (n = 2); that presented 20 different fusA alleles. MLST analysis revealed 32 sequence types (STs), 13 of which were newly identified. All strains were sensitive to all antibiotics (n = 10) tested. The combination of CSB/v enrichment with DFI plating was considered the most efficient for Cronobacter spp. isolation. This study revealed the presence of Cronobacter spp. in foods commercialized in Brazil and the isolates showed a high diversity after MLST analysis and included two strains of the C. sakazakii ST4 neonatal meningitic pathovar.

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Brandão, M. L. L., Umeda, N. S., Jackson, E., Forsythe, S. J., & de Filippis, I. (2017). Isolation, molecular and phenotypic characterization, and antibiotic susceptibility of Cronobacter spp. from Brazilian retail foods. Food Microbiology, 63, 129–138. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fm.2016.11.011

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