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Revista argentina de microbiología

Print version ISSN 0325-7541


JORDA, Graciela B et al. Carriage and characterization of Staphylococcus aureus in food handlers. Rev. argent. microbiol. [online]. 2012, vol.44, n.2, pp.101-104. ISSN 0325-7541.

Staphylococcus aureus causes food poisoning due to its ability to produce enterotoxins. Food handlers carrying enterotoxin-producing S. aureus can contaminate food, thus leading to food poisoning. Samples were obtained from 88 food handlers in the Province of Misiones, Argentina. S. aureus was isolated from nasal swaps and PCR amplification was performed for genes encoding staphylococcal enterotoxins. A total of 37.5 % food handlers were positive for S. aureus. Expression of enterotoxin genes was found in 13 of the 33 (39.4 %) S. aureus isolates studied, accounting for 14.7 % of food handlers. Gene sea was detected in 10 isolates followed by gene sec in 3 isolates. All isolates were susceptible to teicoplanin, gentamicin and rifampicin. Four isolates were resistant to methicillin whereas 2 isolates were resistant to clindamycin and erythromycin. These results constitute a critical alert and indicate the need for developing rational measures to reduce the potential risk of food poisoning.

Keywords : Staphylococcus aureus; Food handlers; Food poisoning.

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