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An Outbreak of Multiple-Drug-Resistant Salmonella Enteritis From Raw Milk

Carol O. Tacket, MD; Lee B. Dominguez; Helaine J. Fisher; Mitchell L. Cohen, MD
JAMA. 1985;253(14):2058-2060. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350380074024.
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In early 1983, an outbreak of illness caused by raw milk contaminated with multiple-antimicrobial-resistant Salmonella typhimurium occurred in Arizona. One of the cases involved a 72-year-old woman who died with Salmonella enteritis and sepsis that had not responded to treatment with chloramphenicol. The S typhimurium isolates from this patient, from other ill persons, and from raw milk were resistant to ampicillin, chloramphenicol, kanamycin sulfate, streptomycin, sulfonamide, and tetracycline. These resistances were mediated by a 105-megadalton R plasmid. During the epidemic period, 43% of the S typhimurium isolates submitted to the Arizona Department of Health Services were resistant to chloramphenicol, and 80% of these possessed the same plasmid resistance. Although there was evidence of spread of the S typhimurium in the community, there was no evidence of spread of this Salmonella R plasmid to the normal flora of patients or their family members a median of 14 weeks after the infection. This outbreak demonstrates the ability of drug-resistant Salmonella to spread from the animal to the human reservoir and, in a suitable host, produce a fatal infection.

(JAMA 1985;253:2058-2060)


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