Document Detail

Presence of soil-dwelling clostridia in commercial powdered infant formulas.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20004414     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: Because Clostridium botulinum was isolated from powdered infant formula (PIF) fed to an infant in the United Kingdom who subsequently developed infant botulism and from unopened PIF from the same manufacturer, we tested PIF manufactured in the United States for the presence of clostridial spores. STUDY DESIGN: Thirty PIF ingested by 19 California infants with botulism within 4 weeks of onset of illness (48% of all patients fed PIF during study) in 2006-2007 were cultured anaerobically to isolate clostridia. All isolated clostridia were identified to the species level and enumerated with standard microbiologic and molecular methods. RESULTS: Five of 30 (17%) PIF samples ingested by patients contained clostridial spores. Spores were also found in 7 of 9 (78%) market-purchased PIF samples. Clostridium sporogenes was isolated most frequently, followed by Clostridium butyricum and at least 10 other soil-dwelling clostridial species. No neurotoxigenic clostridia were isolated. The most probable number of clostridial spores in PIF ranged between 1.1 to >23 per 100 g. CONCLUSIONS: With the notable exception of production of botulinum neurotoxin, C sporogenes is physiologically comparable with proteolytic strains of C botulinum, and both share the same natural reservoir (soils and dust worldwide). The isolation of C sporogenes and potentially pathogenic clostridia from U.S.-manufactured PIF suggests that neurotoxigenic clostridial spores have the potential to be present in these products.
Jason R Barash; Jennifer K Hsia; Stephen S Arnon
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2009-12-09
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of pediatrics     Volume:  156     ISSN:  1097-6833     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Pediatr.     Publication Date:  2010 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-02-23     Completed Date:  2010-03-23     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0375410     Medline TA:  J Pediatr     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  402-8     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2010 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.
Infant Botulism Treatment and Prevention Program, Division of Communicable Disease Control, Center for Infectious Diseases, California Department of Public Health, Richmond, CA 94804, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Botulism / etiology*
Clostridium / isolation & purification*
Clostridium botulinum / isolation & purification
Food Contamination*
Foodborne Diseases / etiology*
Infant Formula*
Soil Microbiology
Reg. No./Substance:

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