Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/1/1603
Title: Investigating an outbreak of staphylococcal food poisoning among travellers across two Australian states
Authors: Chavada, Ruchir;Fletcher, S.;Boonwaat, L.;Moore, T.;Conaty, S.
Issue Date: May-2015
Source: Volume 6, Issue 2, pp. 17 - 21
Journal title: Western Pacific surveillance and response journal : WPSAR
Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Staphylococcus aureus is a common cause of staphylococcal food poisoning in Australia with several outbreaks associated with foods prepared by commercial caterers. Laboratory testing on cases of gastrointestinal illness caused by enterotoxin-producing S. aureus is not routinely done as this condition is self-limiting. Hence outbreaks of such illness may go undetected. METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was conducted among a group of tourists who were hospitalized in Sydney shortly after flying from Queensland. The group had consumed food prepared by a restaurant on the Gold Coast before transit. Laboratory analyses on stool specimens were conducted in Sydney. An environmental assessment of the restaurant in the Gold Coast was conducted, and environmental specimens were assessed for contamination. RESULTS: Epidemiological investigations linked the outbreak to a restaurant in the Gold Coast where the suspected food was produced. Stool samples from two of the hospitalized cases were confirmed to have enterotoxin-producing S. aureus, and several environmental samples were found to be contaminated with S. aureus as well. Investigations suggested that absence of hand washing and other unhygienic food handling at the implicated restaurant was the likely cause of this outbreak. CONCLUSION: Food poisoning due to toxin-mediated S. aureus is frequently undetected and underreported. Public health units should consider toxin-producing pathogens such as S. aureus when investigating outbreaks where vomiting is the predominant symptom and occurs rapidly after consuming food.
URI: https://elibrary.cclhd.health.nsw.gov.au/cclhdjspui/handle/1/1603
DOI: 10.5365/wpsar.2015.6.1.011
Pubmed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26306211
ISSN: 2094-7321
Publicaton type: Journal Article
Keywords: Microbiology
Infection
Appears in Collections:Public Health / Health Promotion

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