Determination of the Important Toxin Genes of Staphylococcus aureus Isolated from Meat Samples, Food Handlers and Food Processing Surfaces in Turkey

Sahin S., Mogulkoc M. N. , Kahn R., Karahan M.

ISRAEL JOURNAL OF VETERINARY MEDICINE, vol.75, no.2, pp.100-107, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 75 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Page Numbers: pp.100-107


Staphylococcusaureus is a pathogenic microorganism causing food intoxications and producing many heat-stable toxins. In this study S. aureus prevalence, the presence of enterotoxin genes (sea, seb, sec, sed, see, seg, seh, sej, sei) together with the toxic shock syndrome toxin gene (tsst) were investigated by mPCR. A total of 500 samples were obtained from different animal's meat (sheep, goat, cattle and chicken), hands of staff and surfaces in contact with food. Of 500 samples, 126 (25.2%) were contaminated with S. aureus. One or more staphylococcal enterotoxin (se) gene was determined in 87 out of 126 isolates (69%). In enterotoxigenic S. aureus isolates, seg and sei which are newer enterotoxins were determined most frequently (39%) then followed by seh, sea, seb, sej, and sed genes. In addition, 39 out of isolates (30.9%) were determined as positive for tsstgene. However, sec and see toxin genes could not be determined in any of the isolates. Consequently, it was determined that recently detected genes have a higher prevalence in food borne S. aureus isolates positive for classical enterotoxins. This would suggest that such a condition would contribute to pathogeny of S. aureus that can potentially lead to food poisoning. These results revealed that S. aureus isolates causing food intoxications have a wider genotypic distribution. Due to the S. aureus contamination, employees working in processing of meat and meat products should strictly follow food safety protocols in order to prevent foodborne infections and intoxications.