Molecular analyses based on plasmid profile typing and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis have defined a strain of Salmonella enterica serotype Anatum associated with the consumption of a particular brand of formula-dried milk responsible for an outbreak in late 1996/early 1997 involving 15 infants and 2 relatives in the UK, and 2 infants in France. The study has demonstrated the value of laboratory-based surveillance involving identification of the outbreak strain at the molecular level coupled with food microbiology and targeted epidemiological investigations, and has highlighted the importance of rapid communication and subsequent international collaboration through the European Union-funded Salm-Net salmonella surveillance network.
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