PloS one

Occurrence and Characterization of Cronobacter spp. in Dehydrated Rice Powder from Chinese Supermarket.

PMID 26132635


Cronobacter spp. are emerging food-borne pathogens and have been identified as causative agents of meningitis and necrotizing enterocolitis in infants. Dehydrated rice is popular with a wide range of people and it is frequently used as a substitute for infant milk powder to baby older than four months. The occurrence of Cronobacter spp. was investigated in 1,012 samples of dehydrated rice powder collected from 14 manufacturers in China during 2010 to 2012. The isolates were identified using fusA allele sequencing and subtyped using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Seventy-six samples (7.5%) contained Cronobacter spp. The prevalence among manufacturers ranged from 0-28.8%. The 76 isolates included 4 species [Cronobacter sakazakii (52 isolates) Cronobacter malonaticus (14 isolates), Cronobacter dublinensis (7 isolates), and Cronobacter muytjensii (3 isolates)]. Twenty-three unique fusA alleles and sixty-six PFGE-patterns were detected. All isolated strains were observed to be sensitive or to show intermediate susceptibility to eight tested antimicrobial agents. The study revealed serious contamination of dehydrated rice powder by Cronobacter spp., with prevalence varying among manufacturers in China. Identified Cronobacter species, fusA alleles, and subtypes were diverse.