Real-time monitoring of Escherichia coli O157:H7 adherence to beef carcass surface tissues with a bioluminescent reporter.
A method for studying bacteria that are attached to carcass surfaces would eliminate the need for exogenous sampling and would facilitate understanding the interaction of potential human food-borne pathogens with food animal tissue surfaces. We describe such a method in which we used a bioluminescent reporter strain of Escherichia coli O157:H7 that was constructed by transformation with plasmid pCGLS1, an expression vector that contains a complete bacterial luciferase (lux) operon. Beef carcass surface tissues were inoculated with the bioluminescent strain, and adherent bacteria were visualized in real time by using a sensitive photon-counting camera to obtain in situ images. The reporter strain was found to luminesce from the tissue surfaces whether it was inoculated as a suspension in buffer or as a suspension in a bovine fecal slurry. With this method, areas of tissues inoculated with the reporter strain could be studied without obtaining, excising, homogenizing, and culturing multiple samples from the tissue surface. Use of the complete lux operon as the bioluminescent reporter eliminated the need to add exogenous substrate. This allowed detection and quantitation of bacterial inocula and rapid evaluation of adherence of a potential human pathogen to tissue surfaces. Following simple water rinses of inoculated carcass tissues, the attachment duration varied with different carcass surface types. On average, the percent retention of bioluminescent signal from the reporter strain was higher on lean fascia-covered tissue (54%) than on adipose fascia-covered tissue (18%) following water washing of the tissues. Bioluminescence and culture-derived viable bacterial counts were highly correlated (r2 = 0.98). Real-time assessment of microbial attachment to this complex menstruum should facilitate evaluation of carcass decontamination procedures and mechanistic studies of microbial contamination of beef carcass tissues. (+info)
Outbreak of Hendra-like virus--Malaysia and Singapore, 1998-1999.
During September 29, 1998-April 4, 1999, 229 cases of febrile encephalitis (111 [48%] fatal) were reported to the Malaysian Ministry of Health (MOH). During March 13-19, 1999, nine cases of similar encephalitic illnesses (one fatal) and two cases of respiratory illness occurred among abattoir workers in Singapore. Tissue culture isolation identified a previously unknown infectious agent from ill patients. This report summarizes the preliminary epidemiologic and laboratory investigations of these cases, which indicate that a previously unrecognized paramyxovirus related to, but distinct from, the Australian Hendra virus is associated with this outbreak. (+info)
The prevalence of verotoxins, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Salmonella in the feces and rumen of cattle at processing.
Fecal samples collected from cattle at processing during a 1-year period were tested for verotoxins (VT1, VT2), Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Salmonella. Verotoxins were detected in 42.6% (95% CI, 39.8% to 45.4%), E. coli O157:H7 in 7.5% (95% CI, 6.1% to 9.1%), and Salmonella in 0.08% (95% CI, 0.004% to 0.5%) of the fecal samples. In yearling cattle, the median within-lot prevalence (percentage of positive samples within a lot) was 40% (range, 0% to 100%) for verotoxins and 0% for E. coli O157:H7 (range, 0% to 100%) and Salmonella (range, 0% to 17%). One or more fecal samples were positive for verotoxins in 80.4% (95% CI, 72.8% to 86.4%) of the lots of yearling cattle, whereas E. coli O157:H7 were detected in 33.6% (95% CI, 26.0% to 42.0%) of the lots. In cull cows, the median within-lot prevalence was 50% (range, 0% to 100%) for verotoxins and 0% (range, 0% to 100%) for E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella (range, 0% to 0%). Verotoxins were detected in one or more fecal samples from 78.0% (95% CI, 70.4% to 84.2%) of the lots of cull cows, whereas E. coli O157:H7 were detected in only 6.0% (95% CI, 3.0% to 11.4%) of the lots of cull cows. The prevalence of verotoxins in fecal samples was lower in yearling cattle than in cull cows, whereas the prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 in fecal samples was higher in yearling cattle than in cull cows. The prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 in fecal samples was highest in the summer months. Rumen fill, body condition score, sex, type of cattle (dairy, beef), and distance travelled to the plant were not associated with the fecal prevalence of verotoxins or E. coli O157:H7. The prevalence of verotoxins in fecal samples of cull cows was associated with the source of the cattle. It was highest in cows from the auction market (52%) and farm/ranch (47%) and lowest in cows from the feedlot (31%). In rumen samples, the prevalence of verotoxins was 6.4% (95% CI, 4.2% to 9.4%), and it was 0.8% (95% CI, 0.2% to 2.3%) for E. coli O157:H7, and 0.3% (95% CI, 0.007% to 1.5%) for Salmonella. (+info)
Update: outbreak of Nipah virus--Malaysia and Singapore, 1999.
During March 1999, health officials in Malaysia and Singapore, in collaboration with Australian researchers and CDC, investigated reports of febrile encephalitic and respiratory illnesses among workers who had exposure to pigs. A previously unrecognized paramyxovirus (formerly known as Hendra-like virus), now called Nipah virus, was implicated by laboratory testing in many of these cases. Febrile encephalitis continues to be reported in Malaysia but has decreased coincident with mass culling of pigs in outbreak areas. No new cases of febrile illness associated with Nipah virus infection have been identified in Singapore since March 19, 1999, when abattoirs were closed. This report summarizes interim findings from ongoing epidemiologic and laboratory investigations in Malaysia and Singapore. (+info)
Presence of Yersinia enterocolitica in tissues of orally-inoculated pigs and the tonsils and feces of pigs at slaughter.
In order to study the early events associated with infection of swine by Yersinia enterocolitica, 42 five-week-old crossbred piglets were inoculated per os with approximately 10(8) Y. enterocolitica O:3. Groups of 5 animals (and one negative control) were euthanized 30 min, 3, 6, 12, 24, 48 and 72 h following the infection. Palatine tonsils, retropharyngeal and mesenteric lymph nodes, esophagus, duodenum, jejunum, ileum (and Peyer's patches), stomach, liver, spleen and feces (from colon) were collected and analyzed for the presence of Y. enterocolitica by standard bacteriological procedures. Natural infections were also analyzed, as a complementary study, by taking one-gram samples of fecal material and tonsils from 291 pig carcasses less than 3 h after slaughter and culturing them for Y. enterocolitica using a cold enrichment technique. Within 30 min, Yersinia enterocolitica O:3 was already present at most sites. The presence of Y. enterocolitica in the liver of 3 out of 10 animals and also in the spleen of 3 out of 10 piglets, within the first 3 h postinfection, but not at later times (with one exception), probably indicated a transient bacteremia accompanying the initial stages of infection. The tonsils were colonized in most animals (13/20) as the bacteria remained present from 12 to 72 h postinfection, while only 4 out of 20 fecal samples were found to be positive over the same period. Up to 10(4) colony-forming units of Y. enterocolitica per gram of tonsil and fecal material were recovered. Finally, among the 291 animals sampled at the abattoir, a total of 79 were found positive, 70 of the tonsils sampled were positive, and bacteria were recovered in 17 fecal samples. It is therefore suggested that palatine tonsils are the most reliable tissue for the indication of an infection/colonization by Y. enterocolitica O:3 in swine and that the removal of this tissue during the slaughter process should be considered in order to minimize the possibility of contamination of meat products. (+info)
Shoulder impingement syndrome in relation to shoulder intensive work.
OBJECTIVES: To analyse the risk of shoulder impingement syndrome relative to shoulder intensive work. METHODS: A cross sectional study of a historical cohort of 1591 workers employed between 1986 and 1993 at a slaughterhouse or a chemical factory. Workers not doing tasks in slaughtering or meat processing constituted the reference group. Intensity of shoulder work in meat processing tasks was assessed by video based observations. Information on shoulder disorders was collected by questionnaire and by physical examinations. Impingement syndrome was diagnosed when shoulder symptoms had been present for at least 3 months during the past year and there were signs of subacromial impingement in the corresponding shoulder at physical examination. Shoulder function was assessed at the same occasion with the Constant scoring technique. Prevalence of shoulder impingement syndrome was analysed according to job title and cumulative exposure. RESULTS: Prevalence ratio for shoulder impingement syndrome was 5.27 (95% confidence interval (95% CI), 2.09 to 12.26) among currently working and 7.90 (95% CI, 2.94 to 21.18) among former slaughterhouse workers. Transformed model based prevalence ratios according to years in slaughterhouse work showed an overall association between cumulative exposure and risk for shoulder impingement syndrome. CONCLUSIONS: This study supports the hypothesis that shoulder intensive work is a risk factor for impingement syndrome of the shoulder. Despite the historical cohort design healthy worker selection may have influenced the exposure-response relation found. (+info)
Amplified fragment length polymorphism fingerprinting of Pseudomonas strains from a poultry processing plant.
Molecular typing has been used previously to identify and trace dissemination of pathogenic and spoilage bacteria associated with food processing. Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) is a novel DNA fingerprinting technique which is considered highly reproducible and has high discriminatory power. This technique was used to fingerprint 88 Pseudomonas fluorescens and Pseudomonas putida strains that were previously isolated from plate counts of carcasses at six processing stages and various equipment surfaces and environmental sources of a poultry abattoir. Clustering of the AFLP patterns revealed a high level of diversity among the strains. Six clusters (clusters I through VI) were delineated at an arbitrary Dice coefficient level of 0.65; clusters III (31 strains) and IV (28 strains) were the largest clusters. More than one-half (52.3%) of the strains obtained from carcass samples, which may have represented the resident carcass population, grouped together in cluster III. By contrast, 43.2% of the strains from most of the equipment surfaces and environmental sources grouped together in cluster IV. In most cases, the clusters in which carcass strains from processing stages grouped corresponded to the clusters in which strains from the associated equipment surfaces and/or environmental sources were found. This provided evidence that there was cross-contamination between carcasses and the abattoir environment at the DNA level. The AFLP data also showed that strains were being disseminated from the beginning to the end of the poultry processing operation, since many strains associated with carcasses at the packaging stage were members of the same clusters as strains obtained from carcasses after the defeathering stage. (+info)
An outbreak of multidrug-resistant, quinolone-resistant Salmonella enterica serotype typhimurium DT104.
BACKGROUND: Food-borne salmonella infections have become a major problem in industrialized countries. The strain of Salmonella enterica serotype typhimurium known as definitive phage type 104 (DT104) is usually resistant to five drugs: ampicillin, chloramphenicol, streptomycin, sulfonamides, and tetracycline. An increasing proportion of DT104 isolates also have reduced susceptibility to fluoroquinolones. METHODS: The Danish salmonella surveillance program determines the phage types of all typhimurium strains from the food chain, and in the case of suspected outbreaks, five-drug-resistant strains are characterized by molecular methods. All patients infected with five-drug-resistant typhimurium are interviewed to obtain clinical and epidemiologic data. In 1998, an outbreak of salmonella occurred, in which the strain of typhimurium DT104 was new to Denmark. We investigated this outbreak and report here our findings. RESULTS: Until 1997, DT104 infections made up less than 1 percent of all human salmonella infections. The strain isolated from patients in the first community outbreak of DT104 in Denmark, in 1998 was resistant to nalidixic acid and had reduced susceptibility to fluoroquinolones. The outbreak included 25 culture-confirmed cases. Eleven patients were hospitalized, and two died. The molecular epidemiology and data from patients indicated that the primary source was a Danish swine herd. Furthermore, the investigation suggested reduced clinical effectiveness of treatment with fluoroquinolones. CONCLUSIONS: Our investigation of an outbreak of DT104 documented the spread of quinolone-resistant bacteria from food animals to humans; this spread was associated with infections that were difficult to treat. Because of the increase in quinolone resistance in salmonella, the use of fluoroquinolones in food animals should be restricted. (+info)