Shigella as a foodborne pathogen and current methods for detection in food

Author: Warren, B.R.; Parish, M.E.; Schneider, K.R.

Description: Shigella, the causative agent of shigellosis or “bacillary dysentery,” has been increasingly involved in foodborne outbreaks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Emerging Infections Program, Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet), Shigella was the third most reported foodborne bacterial pathogen in 2002. Foods are most commonly contaminated with Shigella by an infected food handler who practices poor personal hygiene. Shigella is acid resistant, salt tolerant, and can survive at infective levels in many types of foods such as fruits and vegetables, low pH foods, prepared foods, and foods held in modified atmosphere or vacuum packaging. Survival is often increased when food is held at refrigerated temperatures. Detection methods for Shigella include conventional culture methods, immunological methods, and molecular microbiological methods. Conventional culture of Shigella in foods is often problematic due to the lack of appropriate selective media. Immunological methods for Shigella have been researched, yet there is only one commercially available test kit. Molecular microbiological methods such as PCR, oligonucleotide microarrays, and rep-PCR have also been developed for the detection and identification of Shigella. This manuscript reviews the general characteristics, prevalence, growth and survival, and methods for detection of Shigella in food.

Subject headings: Dysentery, Bacillary/epidemiology/microbiology; Food Microbiology; Foodborne Diseases; Humans; Shigella/isolation & purification; Bacteria; Food contamination

Publication year: 2006

Journal or book title: Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition

Volume: 46

Issue: 7

Pages: 551-567

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Type: Journal Article

Serial number: 1675