Evaluation of multiple strains of Enterobacter sakazakii using fatty acid profiles

Maria Hoffmann, Christine E. Keys, Kwang Young Song, Eric Wayne Brown, Frederick S. Fry, Paul Whittaker

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12 Scopus citations


Fatty acid profiles are useful for identifying Gram-negative Enterobacter sakazakii strains within the family Enterobacteriaceae. The majority of cases of E. sakazakii infection have involved sepsis, meningitis, or enteritis, especially in neonates and infants. Gas chromatography with flame ionization detection (GC-FID) was utilized for the analysis of cellular fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs). Thirty E. sakazakii strains isolated from food and environmental sources were cultured for 24 h on brain heart infusion (BHI) agar on three different days at 37 °C. Whole cell FAMEs were obtained by saponification, methylation and extraction into hexane:methyl tert-butyl ether. The day to day variations for the 30 E. sakazakii strains for each fatty acid were determined. Gram-negative bacteria commonly contain combinations of straight-chain, unsaturated, hydroxyl, and cyclo fatty acids. Major fatty acids of E. sakazakii strains evaluated in this study were straight chain 12:0, 14:0, 16:0 and unsaturated 16:1, 18:1, and 17:0 ω cyclo 7-8. Analysis of FAMEs from E. sakazakii strains grown on BHI agar by this rapid GC-FID method is highly reproducible and provides a sensitive procedure for identification of this organism. The fatty acid profile assay could be used to rapidly screen infant formula samples for E. sakazakii and reduce the time required for the current assay by up to 5 days.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1623-1628
Number of pages6
JournalFood Chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 15 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Food Science


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