低脂肪乳による大規模食中毒事件におけるブドウ球菌エンテロトキシンA遺伝子検出の意義 Significance of the Detection of Staphylococcal Enterotoxin A Gene in Low Fat Milk Which Caused a Serious Outbreak of Food Poisoning
In June 2000, there was a large-scale outbreak of food poisoning after consumption of Snow Brand low fat milk. In the evening of a day the incident made public, some cartons of low fat milk were brought to our laboratory for examination. Next day, we detected only staphylococcal enterotoxin (SE) A gene among SE (A∼E) genes by PCR in left-over milk samples or samples from the same lots that patients had consumed. We presumed that the outbreak was caused by the intake of SEA. We subsequently confirmed the presence of SEA in these samples.<br>To investigate the existence of SE (A∼E) genes in milk, we examined 100 samples of commercial low fat milk and milk by PCR, but none of the genes was detected. We estimated the detection limit of SEA gene in low fat milk by PCR. Four strains of SEA-producing <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i> cultures were serially diluted in low fat milk. The SEA gene was detected at levels of 5.5×10<sup>2</sup> to 1.6×10<sup>4</sup> cfu/mL of <i>S. aureus.</i> These amounts of <i>S. aureus</i> are higher than the values in raw milk reported previously. Therefore we consider that SE genes in low fat milk should usually be undetectable by our PCR.<br>This study shows that quick detection of SE genes by PCR is very helpful to analyze outbreaks, especially if no significant bacterium can be cultured.
食品衛生学雑誌 44(4), 186-190, 2003-08-25