Contamination by Staphylococcus aureus of food produced from animal sources may have diverse and multifactorial causes that depend on geographical distribution. The goal of this study was to isolate and characterise S. aureus strains from contaminated fermented pork sausage, which is a local food of northeastern Thailand.
Material and Methods
S. aureus strains were isolated from local pork sausage, and the presence of classical enterotoxins was determined by PCR and reversed passive latex agglutination. These results were compared with strains derived from hospitalised patients and healthy carriers. Additionally, production of extracellular enzymes and haemolysin, biofilm formation, and antibiotic susceptibility were assessed.
S. aureus was identified in 36 sausage isolates (60%). The strains positive for staphylococcal enterotoxin A were more frequently found in isolates from sausage and healthy carriers than in those from patients. All tested S. aureus strains were positive for DNase, lipase, proteinase, haemolysin, and biofilm formation; notably, strains isolated from food and healthy carriers displayed similar values. Most isolates were resistant to penicillin and ampicillin, while none were to methicillin.
Thai fermented pork sausages are associated with a high risk of staphylococcal food poisoning, which may be linked to contamination caused by carriers. Dissemination of knowledge regarding best practices in sanitation and hygiene is important in local communities.