In situ #measurement of #cesium-137 #contamination in #fruits from the northern #Marshall Islands (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, abstract)

[Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

In situ measurement of cesium-137 contamination in fruits from the northern Marshall Islands

Carlisle E. W. Topping, Maveric K. I. L. Abella, Michael E. Berkowitz, Monica Rouco Molina, Ivana Nikolić-Hughes, Emlyn W. Hughes, and Malvin A. Ruderman

PNAS first published July 15, 2019 / DOI:

Contributed by Malvin A. Ruderman, May 15, 2019 (sent for review March 5, 2019; reviewed by Paul Cadden-Zimansky and Katrin Karbstein)

Related Articles: Radiation maps of ocean sediment from the Castle Bravo crater – Jul 10, 2019; Background gamma radiation and soil activity measurements in the northern Marshall Islands – Jul 10, 2019



The United States performed nuclear testing on Bikini and Enewetak Atolls in the northern Marshall Islands between 1946 and 1958. Fallout from the largest test Bravo, detonated in 1954, spread over a large area, exposing to radiation not only land and ocean but also Marshallese people living in neighboring atolls, including Rongelap and Utirik. Cesium-137, present in the fallout, has a half-life of approximately 30 y and is readily absorbed by food crops, thus representing a health hazard for island inhabitants. In situ measurements of cesium-137 content were made for fruits from 11 islands on four atolls. Contamination remains above limits set by international safety standards in some measured fruits, and several islands display contamination from this human-made radionuclide.



Radioactive contamination of fruits in the northern Marshall Islands, resulting from the US nuclear weapons testing program in the 1940s and 1950s, is still a human health concern, in particular pertaining to island population resettlement and the economic benefit from farming. Over 200 fruits, primarily coconuts and pandanus, were collected on 11 islands from four atolls in the northern Marshall Islands in 2017. The energy spectra from nuclear gamma decays were measured on a research vessel for each fruit in situ. From these recordings, the level of cesium-137 (137Cs) contamination was determined for individual fruits. Comparisons of the results are made to past studies and international food safety standards. There is a broad distribution of values, ranging from below detectable radiation levels to relatively high levels; safety concerns are largest for Bikini Island. A noticeable fraction of fruits from Bikini have significantly higher levels of 137Cs contamination compared with those from all other measured islands.

Marshall Islands – food – radiation – cesium-137 – Bikini

Keywords: Environmental pollution; Environmental disasters; Radiations; Radionuclides; Marhsall Islands; Food safety.



One #hypervirulent #clone, sequence type 283, accounts for a large proportion of invasive #Streptococcus agalactiae isolated from #humans and diseased #tilapia in Southeast #Asia (PLoS Negl Trop Dis., abstract)

[Source: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]


One hypervirulent clone, sequence type 283, accounts for a large proportion of invasive Streptococcus agalactiae isolated from humans and diseased tilapia in Southeast Asia

Timothy Barkham , Ruth N. Zadoks, Mohammad Noor Amal Azmai, Stephen Baker, Vu Thi Ngoc Bich, Victoria Chalker, Man Ling Chau, David Dance, Rama Narayana Deepak, H. Rogier van Doorn, Ramona A. Gutierrez, Mark A. Holmes, Lan Nguyen Phu Huong,  [ … ], Swaine L. Chen

Published: June 27, 2019 / DOI:




In 2015, Singapore had the first and only reported foodborne outbreak of invasive disease caused by the group B Streptococcus (GBS; Streptococcus agalactiae). Disease, predominantly septic arthritis and meningitis, was associated with sequence type (ST)283, acquired from eating raw farmed freshwater fish. Although GBS sepsis is well-described in neonates and older adults with co-morbidities, this outbreak affected non-pregnant and younger adults with fewer co-morbidities, suggesting greater virulence. Before 2015 ST283 had only been reported from twenty humans in Hong Kong and two in France, and from one fish in Thailand. We hypothesised that ST283 was causing region-wide infection in Southeast Asia.

Methodology/Principal findings

We performed a literature review, whole genome sequencing on 145 GBS isolates collected from six Southeast Asian countries, and phylogenetic analysis on 7,468 GBS sequences including 227 variants of ST283 from humans and animals. Although almost absent outside Asia, ST283 was found in all invasive Asian collections analysed, from 1995 to 2017. It accounted for 29/38 (76%) human isolates in Lao PDR, 102/139 (73%) in Thailand, 4/13 (31%) in Vietnam, and 167/739 (23%) in Singapore. ST283 and its variants were found in 62/62 (100%) tilapia from 14 outbreak sites in Malaysia and Vietnam, in seven fish species in Singapore markets, and a diseased frog in China.


GBS ST283 is widespread in Southeast Asia, where it accounts for a large proportion of bacteraemic GBS, and causes disease and economic loss in aquaculture. If human ST283 is fishborne, as in the Singapore outbreak, then GBS sepsis in Thailand and Lao PDR is predominantly a foodborne disease. However, whether transmission is from aquaculture to humans, or vice versa, or involves an unidentified reservoir remains unknown. Creation of cross-border collaborations in human and animal health are needed to complete the epidemiological picture.


Author summary

An outbreak due to a bacterium called Streptococccus agalactiae in Singapore in 2015 was caused by a clone called ST283, and was associated with consumption of raw freshwater-fish. It was considered unique as it was the only reported foodborne outbreak of this bacterium. Our new data show that invasive ST283 disease is far from unique. ST283 has been causing disease in humans and farmed fish in SE Asian countries for decades. Reports of ST283 are almost absent outside Asia. We suspect that human ST283 is fishborne in other Asian countries, as it was in Singapore, but we haven’t looked at this yet. We don’t know where ST283 originally came from; it may have been transmitted from humans to fish, or come from another animal. More studies are needed to determine ST283’s geographical extent and burden of disease, as well as its origin, how it is transmitted, and what enables it to be so aggressive. We may then be able to interrupt transmission, to the benefit of fish, farmers, and the general public.


Citation: Barkham T, Zadoks RN, Azmai MNA, Baker S, Bich VTN, Chalker V, et al. (2019) One hypervirulent clone, sequence type 283, accounts for a large proportion of invasive Streptococcus agalactiae isolated from humans and diseased tilapia in Southeast Asia. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 13(6): e0007421.

Editor: Alfredo G. Torres, University of Texas Medical Branch, UNITED STATES

Received: January 9, 2019; Accepted: April 29, 2019; Published: June 27, 2019

This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.

Data Availability: All relevant data are within the manuscript and its Supporting Information files.

Funding: Support for this project was provided by the Molecular Biology Laboratory and the Department of Laboratory Medicine, Tan Tock Seng Hospital; by the Environmental Health Institute, National Environment Agency, Singapore; by the Ministry of Health, Singapore, through the Singapore Infectious Diseases Initiative grant number SIDI/2016/002 (TB), and the National Medical Research Council, Ministry of Health, Singapore grant number NMRC/CIRG/1467/2017 (SLC), by the UK Global Challenges Research Fund via the Scottish Funding Council, SFC/AN/10/2018 (RNZ), and by the Global Disease Detection program of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The BSAC resistance surveillance project is acknowledged for the provision of the UK data. The Lao PDR GBS were obtained during the work of LOMWRU, funded by the Wellcome Trust. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, or preparation of the manuscript: the US CDC approved the decision to publish.

Competing interests: I have read the journal’s policy and the authors of this manuscript have the following competing interests: SLC and TB are named applicants on a patent for the ST83-specific PCR test used in this study.

Keywords: Streptococcus agalactiae; Food safety; Human; Asia Region.


#Dispersal of #linezolid-resistant #enterococci carrying poxtA or optrA in retail #meat and #food-producing #animals from #Tunisia (J Antimicrob Chemother., abstract)

[Source: Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Dispersal of linezolid-resistant enterococci carrying poxtA or optrA in retail meat and food-producing animals from Tunisia

Houyem Elghaieb, Ana R Freitas, Mohamed Salah Abbassi, Carla Novais, Mohamed Zouari, Abdennaceur Hassen, Luísa Peixe

Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, dkz263,

Published: 26 June 2019




The epidemiology of Enterococcus resistant to priority antibiotics including linezolid has mainly been investigated in developed countries and especially in hospitals. We aimed to evaluate the contribution of different non-human reservoirs for the burden of MDR enterococci in Tunisia, where scarce data are available.


Samples (n = 287) were collected from urban wastewater (n = 57), retail meat (n = 29; poultry/bovine/ovine), milk (n = 89; bovine/ovine), farm animal faeces (n = 80; poultry/bovine/ovine) and pets (n = 32; rabbit/dogs/cats/birds) in different Tunisian regions (2014–17). They were plated onto Slanetz–Bartley agar after pre-enrichment without antibiotics. Standard methods were used for bacterial identification and characterization of antibiotic resistance and virulence genes (PCR), antibiotic susceptibility testing (disc diffusion/broth microdilution; EUCAST/CLSI) and clonality (SmaI-PFGE/MLST).


All samples carried Enterococcus (n = 377 isolates) resistant to antibiotics considered to be critical or highly important by WHO. Even without antibiotic selection, 38% of Enterococcus faecalis (Efs) and 22% of Enterococcus faecium(Efm) were identified as MDR. Linezolid-resistant isolates (5%; MIC = 8 mg/L) comprised six poxtA-carrying Efm (cow milk), seven optrA-carrying Efs (chicken faeces/meat) and five Efm lacking cfr/optrA/poxtA(poultry/bovine/ovine/wastewater). Clinically relevant Efm clones (clade A1) were identified in animal/meat sources. Ampicillin resistance (1%) was confined to ST18/ST78-like MDR Efm clones from bovine meat/milk samples carrying relevant virulence markers (e.g. ptsD/IS16).


This study provides evidence of the contribution of livestock and foodstuffs to the dispersal of acquired linezolid resistance genes including poxtA and optrA. We report the first poxtA-carrying Efm in Tunisia, and for the first time in bovine samples, stressing the urgent need for alternative measures to counteract the spread of linezolid-resistant enterococci globally.

Topic: antibiotics – enterococcus – antibiotic resistance, bacterial – diffusion – cattle – chickens – clone cells – dog, domestic – electrophoresis, gel, pulsed-field – feces – food – genes – meat – milk – sheep – tunisia – poultry meat – virulence – linezolid –  antimicrobial  susceptibility – farm animals – pet animal


© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email:

This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (

Keywords: Antibiotics; Drugs Resistance; Linezolid; Enterococcus spp.; Livestock; Food Safety; Tunisia.


Detection of #plasmid-mediated #tigecycline-resistant gene tet(X4) in #Escherichia coli from #pork, #Sichuan and #Shandong Provinces, #China, February 2019 (Euro Surveill., abstract)

[Source: Eurosurveillance, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Detection of plasmid-mediated tigecycline-resistant gene tet(X4) in Escherichia coli from pork, Sichuan and Shandong Provinces, China, February 2019

Li Bai1,2,3, Pengcheng Du3,4, Yinju Du5, Honghu Sun1,2,6, Pei Zhang1,2, Yuping Wan6, Qi Lin6, Séamus Fanning1,2,7, Shenghui Cui8, Yongning Wu1,2

Affiliations: 1 Key Laboratory of Food Safety Risk Assessment, National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; 2 Food Safety Research Unit of Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; 3 These authors contributed equally to this work; 4 Institute of Infectious Diseases, Beijing Ditan Hospital, Capital Medical University, and Beijing Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; 5 Center for disease control and prevention of Liaocheng city, Liaocheng, People’s Republic of China; 6 Chengdu institute for Food and Drug Control, Chengdu, People’s Republic of China; 7 UCD-Centre for Food Safety, School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin, Ireland; 8 Department of Food Science, National Institutes for Food and Drug Control, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence:  Yongning Wu

Citation style for this article: Bai Li, Du Pengcheng, Du Yinju, Sun Honghu, Zhang Pei, Wan Yuping, Lin Qi, Fanning Séamus, Cui Shenghui, Wu Yongning. Detection of plasmid-mediated tigecycline-resistant gene tet(X4) in Escherichia coli from pork, Sichuan and Shandong Provinces, China, February 2019. Euro Surveill.2019;24(25):pii=1900340.

Received: 29 May 2019;   Accepted: 20 Jun 2019



The plasmid-mediated high-level tigecycline resistance gene, tet(X4), was detected in seven Escherichia coli isolates from pork in two Chinese provinces. Two isolates belonged to the epidemic spreading sequence type ST101. Tet(X4) was adjacent to ISVsa3 and concurrent with floR in all seven isolates. In addition to IncFIB, the replicon IncFII was found to be linked to tet(X4). This report follows a recent detection of tet(X3)/(X4) in E. coli from animals and humans in China.

©  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Keywords: Antibiotics; Drugs Resistance; Tigecycline; Plasmids; Pigs; E. Coli; Food Safety; China; Sichuan; Shandong.


#Rapid increase in #carbapenemase-producing #Enterobacteriaceae in retail #meat driven by the spread of the #blaNDM-5/IncX3 #plasmid, in #China, 2016–2018 (Antimicrob Agents Chemother., abstract)

[Source: Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Rapid increase in carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae in retail meat driven by the spread of the blaNDM-5/IncX3 plasmid, in China, 2016–2018

Qianhui Zhang, Luchao Lv, Xiuyu Huang, Ying Huang, Zilin Zhuang, Jiaxun Lu, Enyu Liu, Miao Wan, Haoliang Xun, Zhiwei Zhang, Jin Huang, Qianhua Song, Chao Zhuo, Jian-Hua Liu

DOI: 10.1128/AAC.00573-19



The presence and molecular characteristics of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae(CPE) among meat products in China were investigated. A total of 110 CRE isolates, including 94 Escherichia coli and 10 Klebsiella pneumoniae, were identified from 105 (13.2%) out of 794 samples. The positive rates markedly increased from 2016 (9.4%) to 2018 (22.2%). Only blaNDM genes were detected, 79.1% blaNDM genes were carried by IncX3 plasmids. Routine monitoring of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae in animal-food supply is highly recommended.

Copyright © 2019 American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

Keywords: Antibiotics; Drugs Resistance; Carbapenem; Enterobacteriaceae; Food safety; China.


An #international #outbreak of #Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis linked to #eggs from #Poland: a microbiological and epidemiological study (Lancet Infect Dis., abstract)

[Source: The Lancet Infectious Diseases, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

An international outbreak of Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis linked to eggs from Poland: a microbiological and epidemiological study

Roan Pijnacker, MSc  *, Timothy J Dallman, PhD *, Aloys S L Tijsma, PhD, Gillian Hawkins, MBChB, Lesley Larkin, BVSc, Saara M Kotila, MSc, Giusi Amore, PhD, Ettore Amato, PhD, Pamina M Suzuki, MSc, Sarah Denayer, PhD, Sofieke Klamer, MSc, Judit Pászti, Jacquelyn McCormick, MPH, Hassan Hartman, PhD, Gareth J Hughes, PhD, Lin C T Brandal, PhD, Derek Brown, MSc, Joël Mossong, PhD, Cecilia Jernberg, PhD, Luise Müller, MSc, Daniel Palm, PhD, Ettore Severi, MSc, Joannna Gołębiowska, DVM, Blaženka Hunjak, PhD, Slawomir Owczarek, MSc, Simon Le Hello, PhD, Patricia Garvey, PhD, Kirsten Mooijman, MSc, Ingrid H M Friesema, PhD, Coen van der Weijden, BSc, Menno van der Voort, PhD, Valentina Rizzi, PhD, Eelco Franz, PhD on behalf of theInternational Outbreak Investigation Team †

Published: May 24, 2019 / DOI:




Salmonella spp are a major cause of food-borne outbreaks in Europe. We investigated a large multi-country outbreak ofSalmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis in the EU and European Economic Area (EEA).


A confirmed case was defined as a laboratory-confirmed infection with the outbreak strains of S Enteritidis based on whole-genome sequencing (WGS), occurring between May 1, 2015, and Oct 31, 2018. A probable case was defined as laboratory-confirmed infection withS Enteritidis with the multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis outbreak profile. Multi-country epidemiological, trace-back, trace-forward, and environmental investigations were done. We did a case-control study including confirmed and probable cases and controls randomly sampled from the population registry (frequency matched by age, sex, and postal code). Odds ratios (ORs) for exposure rates between cases and controls were calculated with unmatched univariable and multivariable logistic regression.


18 EU and EEA countries reported 838 confirmed and 371 probable cases. 509 (42%) cases were reported in 2016, after which the number of cases steadily increased. The case-control study results showed that cases more often ate in food establishments than did controls (OR 3·4 [95% CI 1·6–7·3]), but no specific food item was identified. Recipe-based food trace-back investigations among cases who ate in food establishments identified eggs from Poland as the vehicle of infection in October, 2016. Phylogenetic analysis identified two strains of S Enteritidis in human cases that were subsequently identified in salmonella-positive eggs and primary production premises in Poland, confirming the source of the outbreak. After control measures were implemented, the number of cases decreased, but increased again in March, 2017, and the increase continued into 2018.


This outbreak highlights the public health value of multi-country sharing of epidemiological, trace-back, and microbiological data. The re-emergence of cases suggests that outbreak strains have continued to enter the food chain, although changes in strain population dynamics and fewer cases indicate that control measures had some effect. Routine use of WGS in salmonella surveillance and outbreak response promises to identify and stop outbreaks in the future.


European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control; Directorate General for Health and Food Safety, European Commission; and National Public Health and Food Safety Institutes of the authors’ countries (see Acknowledgments for full list).

Keywords: Food Safety; EU; European Region; Samonella spp.


Detection of the phenicol–oxazolidinone– #tetracycline #resistance gene poxtA in #Enterococcus faecium and Enterococcus faecalis of #food-producing #animal origin in #China (J Antimicrob Chemother., abstract)

[Source: Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Detection of the phenicol–oxazolidinone–tetracycline resistance gene poxtA in Enterococcus faecium and Enterococcus faecalis of food-producing animal origin in China

Chang-Wei Lei, Zhuang-Zhuang Kang, Shun-Kang Wu, Yan-Peng Chen, Ling-Han Kong, Hong-Ning Wang

Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, dkz198,

Published: 18 May 2019

Issue Section: Research letter



Oxazolidinones, including linezolid and tedizolid, are effective antimicrobial agents for treating infections caused by MDR Gram-positive bacteria, including VRE.1,2Linezolid is the first commercially available oxazolidinone that can inhibit protein synthesis by binding to the peptidyltransferase centre of the bacterial 23S rRNA. After introduction of linezolid, the resistance mechanism that emerged rapidly was related to mutations in genes coding for the 23S rRNA. The transferable oxazolidinone resistance determinants, cfr and optrA, have been reported in enterococci in several regions worldwide.3–6 Very recently, another transferable oxazolidinone resistance gene, poxtA, was reported in an MRSA of clinical origin…



© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email:

This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (

Keywords: Antibiotics; Drugs Resistance; Linezolid; Enterococcus spp.; Food Safety; China.