Molecular Epidemiology of Two International Sprout Borne Salmonella Outbreaks

Molecular epidemiology of two international sprout-borne Salmonella outbreaks
J Clin Microbiol 1997 Oct;35(10):2487-91
Puohiniemi R, Heiskanen T, Siitonen A.
Laboratory of Enteric Pathogens, National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland.

Sprout-borne Salmonella outbreaks in Finland have increased during the last 10 years. The latest two were caused by Salmonella enterica serovar Bovismorbificans (antigenic structure 6,8:r:1,5) in 1994 and S. enterica serovar Stanley (4,5, 12:d:1,2) in 1995. In this study, the restriction fragment length polymorphism of genomic DNA after pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and antimicrobial resistance profiles of the outbreak and nonoutbreak strains were compared. In each separate outbreak, the PFGE patterns of the outbreak strains (40 strains of S. enterica serovar Bovismorbificans and 28 strains of S. enterica serovar Stanley) after digestion of genomic DNA with restriction enzyme XbaI were indistinguishable from each other but differed clearly from those of the nonoutbreak strains (26 strains of S. enterica serovar Bovismorbificans and 40 strains of S. enterica serovar Stanley). The restriction enzyme XhoI did not differentiate the outbreak and nonoutbreak strains. The S. enterica serovar Stanley strains associated with the outbreak also had a unique antimicrobial resistance pattern, whereas all S. enterica serovar Bovismorbificans strains, both outbreak and nonoutbreak strains, were sensitive to all antimicrobial agents tested. Thus, the molecular typing confirmed that the S. enterica serovar Bovismorbificans outbreak isolates from humans and sprout salad were identical and strongly supported the epidemiological finding that S. enterica serovar Stanley outbreak isolates also originated from contaminated alfalfa seeds. It also confirmed that the sources of similar outbreaks in Sweden in 1994 caused by S. enterica serovar Bovismorbificans and in the United States in 1995 caused by S. enterica serovar Stanley and the source of the Finnish outbreaks were common.