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Vitale M.,Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Sicily Adelmo Mirri | Scatassa M.L.,Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Sicily Adelmo Mirri | Cardamone C.,Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Sicily Adelmo Mirri | Oliveri G.,Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Sicily Adelmo Mirri | And 3 more authors.
Foodborne Pathogens and Disease | Year: 2015

A case of staphylococcal food poisoning was observed in two individuals of the same family after consumption of primosale, a semiripened sheep cheese produced in Sicily. Staphylococcus aureus isolated from the cheese produced enterotoxin C (SEC) and carried both the enterotoxin C (sec) and the toxic shock syndrome toxin (tsst-1) gene. Following this case, an extensive survey was conducted on 971 food samples (raw milk, cheese, meat, and food preparations). S. aureus was detected in 102 of 971 food samples, from all types of food with the exception of ricotta cheese. The tsst-1 gene was present in 42% of the strains, either alone or in combination with other toxin genes. The enterotoxin C gene was the most represented enterotoxin, but it was only found in dairy products. Six S. aureus isolates carried the sea gene alone, two isolates carried both sea and seb, and one isolate carried both sea and sec. A significant percentage (46%) of all isolates carried a toxin gene, creating significant concern that virulent S. aureus can be transmitted through food in Sicily. © 2015 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Source

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