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Henigman U.,Institute za higieno zivil in bromatologijo | Biasizzo M.,Institute za higieno zivil in bromatologijo | Vadnjal S.,Institute za higieno zivil in bromatologijo | Kirbis A.,Institute za higieno zivil in bromatologijo | And 4 more authors.
Slovenian Veterinary Research

Noroviruses are the most common source of gastroenteritis in humans. Genetically very diverse group is classified within the Caliciviridae family. People become infected with noroviruses by contact or ingestion of contaminated food or water. The source of infection may be mussels, growing in contaminated water and accumulating contaminants through water filtration. Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) are cultivated at three harvesting areas in the Slovenian Sea: Seca, Strunjan and Debeli Rtič. The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of noroviruses in harvested areas and in wild living mussels. Strains detected from seafood were compared with strains from humans to identify the possible connection. Three shellfish harvesting areas and wild mussels from natural beds in the area of Piran were sampled in the years 2006-2008 and included in our study. Specific product of a short part of the gene for RNA dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) was amplified, using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). In total, 168 samples were investigated. In 18 samples of mussels norovirus RNA was detected, representing 10.7%. The most common norovirus genotype was GII.4, subtype 2006b, which is also the most prevalent genotype in human with gastroenteritis in Slovenia. In harvesting area Debeli Rtič and also among wild mussels near Piran, large proportion of positive samples were found. The similarity of strains isolated from humans and mussels suggests that the shellfish at harvesting sites are contaminated with sewage from the surrounding areas and that the mussels are a potential source of human infections. Source

Hostnik P.,Institute za Mikrobiologijo in Parazitologijo | Rihtaric D.,Institute za Mikrobiologijo in Parazitologijo | Presetnik P.,Center za Kartografijo Favne in Flore | Podgorelec M.,Center za Kartografijo Favne in Flore | And 2 more authors.
Zdravniski Vestnik

Background: To study bats, as a reservoir for European bat lyssavirus (EBLV) in Slovenia, native bat samples were tested in year 2008. Bats were captured from different locations in Slovenia and blood samples, mouth and brain swabs were collected from live and dead bats. 260 samples of oral swabs and 38 brain samples were tested by specific RT-PCR assay to detect lyssavirus genome. Results: 216 blood samples, collected from the same bats, were tested by FAVN (Fluorescent Antibody Virus Neutralization) test to detect the prevalence of lyssavirus antibodies among bats. Virus RNA was not detected in any of the samples, all blood samples werealso negative for specific antibodies. Conclusions: Despite the data from this study, EBL viruses can cause fatal infections in humans and all bats involved in contact incidents with humans should be tested to determine whether the victim was exposed to EBL virus. In order to prevent lyssavirus transmission from bats to humans, all bat handlers and laboratory personnel should be informed about the possible risk of lyssavirus exposure via bats and their vaccination against rabies is strongly recommended. Source

Zdovc I.,Institute za Mikrobiologijo in Parazitologijo | Kusar D.,Institute za Mikrobiologijo in Parazitologijo | Golob M.,Institute za Mikrobiologijo in Parazitologijo
Slovenian Veterinary Research

Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains are spreading worldwide and are considered to be a major problem for both humans and animals. Based on their epidemiological and genetic characteristics, different types of MRSA may be distinguished. A new type - Livestock-associated (LA) MRSA has emerged recently. It refers mainly to the clonal spread of a certain MRSA strain ST398 which can be found among different animal species and may also cause infections in humans. In this paper, we present the importance of methicillin-resistant staphylococci (MRS) and their prevalence in selected populations of food-producing animals in Slovenia. Milk samples of 57 diary cows, nasal swabs of 76 stallions, skin samples of two groups of piglets with skin disorders and 114 dust samples (baseline study) were examined for the presence of MRSA. Potential MRSA colonies were identified by specific growth on the selective chromogenic media. Isolates were determined as MRSA based on oxacillin and cefoxitin resistance and confirmed using multiplex PCR. MRSA was not detected in any of cow or horse samples, but MRCoNS (mostly MR S. sciuri) was isolated from 28 horse samples. In pigs MRSA was isolated from both groups of piglets and from 8 dust samples. On the basis of the results we assume that among food-producing animals in Slovenia only pigs may represent a source of infections for humans. Source

Bole-Hribovsek V.,Institute za Mikrobiologijo in Parazitologijo | Micunovic J.,Institute za Mikrobiologijo in Parazitologijo | Krt B.,Institute za Mikrobiologijo in Parazitologijo
Slovenian Veterinary Research

Salmonellosis is the second most prevalent zoonosis in the European Union. Poultry and pigs and their products are among the most frequent sources of infections for humans. To reduce the importance of this source we first wanted to scan the situation by Baseline studies of the Salmonella prevalence in the European Union. The purpose of these Baseline studies was to detect the prevalence in the European Union member states and in the European Union as a whole by the same sampling protocols and the same detection method. In the years from 2004 to 2008 the Republic of Slovenia participated in the Baseline studies of the Salmonella prevalence in laying hens, broiler and turkey holdings, broiler carcasses in slaughter houses, mesenterial lymph nodes and carcass swabs of slaughter pigs and in the faeces of breeding pigs from breeding and production holdings. The results show that the Republic of Slovenia is among the member states with a low Salmonella prevalence. The prevalence was under the average of the European Union in all categories. We did not detect Salmonella in pig carcass swabs in slaughter houses and in the faeces of breeding pigs in breeding holdings and in the majority of the other categories the Republic of Slovenia was in the first third of member states with the lowest prevalence. The highest prevalence was in fattening turkeys. In the Republic of Slovenia we most frequently identify the same serovars as elsewhere in the European Union. Serovars Enteritidis and Typhimurium are among the most frequent serovars and we also detected the few-years-ago described serovar 4[5]12:i:- in pigs. The favourable situation is the result of many years of monitoring of the Salmonella prevalence in feed, in animals and food and of prompt reacting. The obtained results and rich experiences are a good start for the further reduction of the Salmonella prevalence. Source

Pate M.,Institute za Mikrobiologijo in Parazitologijo | Gruntar I.,Institute za Mikrobiologijo in Parazitologijo | Kusar D.,Institute za Mikrobiologijo in Parazitologijo | Micunovic J.,Institute za Mikrobiologijo in Parazitologijo | And 4 more authors.
Slovenian Veterinary Research

Campylobacter jejuni is the major causative agent of intestinal campylobacteriosis, the most frequently reported zoonosis in the European Union. In order to clarify the epizootiological situation regarding the presence of C. jejuni in broilers, a genetic diversity of 100 C. jejuni isolates was assessed using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. The isolates were collected in 2008 within the scope of the baseline survey on spread of campylobacters in broiler flocks and on broiler carcasses. Broilers originated from 52 farms located in six regions. In order to investigate the contamination at slaughterhouses, two isolates per animal (one from faeces and one from a carcass) were analyzed in 43 broilers. A high degree of the genetic diversity was detected among C. jejuni isolates. Isolates collected in different time periods from broilers originating from the same farm showed genetic differences, indicating that the strains do not persist on farms. More than 50% of the isolates cultivated from faeces and the carcass of the same animal showed identical genetic profiles, which suggests a direct contamination of the carcasses at slaughterhouses. The carcasses may get contaminated also by cross contaminations or from the other sources at slaughterhouses. The results of the study also demonstrate that strains with a certain genetic profile may be prevalent either in a geographically limited region or in individual slaughterhouses. In order to fully clarify the routes of contaminations of poultry-derived food and to take effective measures for a safe food production, additional and more oriented studies are needed. Source

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