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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Hazariwala, Amita
item Sanders, Quesha
item Jackson, Charlene
item Hofacre, Charles
item Thayer, Stephan
item Maurer, John

Submitted to: Avian Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2001
Publication Date: 2/20/2002
Citation: Hazariwala, A., Sanders, Q., Jackson, C.R., Hofacre, C., Thayer, S.G., Maurer, J.J. 2002. Distribution of staphylococcal enterotoxin genes among staphylococcus aureus isolates from poultry and humans with invasive staphylococcal disease. Avian Diseases. 46:132-136.

Interpretive Summary: Infections with Staphylococcus aureus can have substantial economic effects on both the human population and the poultry industry. S. aureus is a common cause of food poisoning in humans and is also implicated in invasive diseases in poultry. In humans, foodborne disease is caused by staphylococcal enterotoxins (sea, seb, sec, sed, see). In order to determine if these virulence factors contribute to disease in poultry and potentially to humans, the distribution of these genes among S. sureus isolated from poultry and humans was examined. From the study, poultry isolates were positive for only one gene, sec. Human isolates were positive for sea, seb, sec, and sed; see was not detected. The low frequency of detection of se from poultry suggests that poultry are an unlikely source for staphylococcal food poisoning in humans. Information gained from this study will be important for veterinarians and industry in development of vaccines to combat staphylococcal infections in poultry.

Technical Abstract: Food poisoning by Staphylococcus aureus affects hundreds of thousands of people each year. S. aureus also causes invasive diseases such as arthritis (in poultry) and septicemia (in poultry and humans). Foodborne disease is caused by the ingestion of a staphylococcal enterotoxin (SE). Enterotoxin has also been associated with other S. aureus illnesses in man and domestic animals. In this study, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) was used to detect the staphylococcal enterotoxin genes, SEA, SEB, SEC, SED, and SEE in S. aureus isolates associated with invasive disease in poultry and humans. In the 34 poultry isolates, only one isolate was found to contain a SE gene, sec. In the 41 human isolates, over 51% tested positive for an SE gene with 12.2% positive for the gene for SEA, 2.4% for SEB, 22% for SEC, 24.4% for SED, and 0.0% for SEE. The disparity between the rates for SE gene(s) in poultry and human isolates suggests a lesser role for the enterotoxins in invasive poultry disease than in human disease.

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
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