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May 7, 2019

CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS)external icon

Public health investigators used the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may have been part of this outbreak. PulseNet is the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by CDC. DNA fingerprinting is performed on Salmonella bacteria isolated from ill people by using techniques called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and whole genome sequencing (WGS). CDC PulseNet manages a national database of these DNA fingerprints to identify possible outbreaks. WGS gives a more detailed DNA fingerprint than PFGE. WGS performed on bacteria isolated from ill people showed that they were closely related genetically. This means that ill people in this outbreak were more likely to share a common source of infection.

As of May 7, 2019, a total of 7 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Schwarzengrund were reported from 3 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the Map of Reported Cases page.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from December 19, 2018, to March 16, 2019. Ill people ranged in age from less than one year to 71, with a median age of 46. Eighty-six percent were female. One (14%) person was hospitalized. No deaths were reported.

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) analysis of 5 isolates from ill people and 4 isolates from turkey predicted antibiotic resistance to ampicillin (n=2), gentamicin (n=2), streptomycin (n=2), sulfisoxazole (n=9), and tetracycline (n=9). One additional clinical isolate had no resistance. Testing of 2 outbreak isolates using standard antibiotic susceptibility testing by CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory confirmed these results. This resistance likely will not affect the choice of antibiotic used to treat most people.

Investigation of the Outbreak

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicated that ground turkey produced by Butterball, LLC in Mount Olive, North Carolina was the likely source of this outbreak.

Health officials collected information about the foods ill people ate and other exposures they had in the week before they became ill. Five (71%) of 7 ill people either lived in a residence where ground turkey was served, or reported eating ground turkey at home.

Health officials in Wisconsinexternal icon

The outbreak strain of Salmonella Schwarzengrund was identified in samples of the ground turkey collected from the residence where four ill people live. These results provided more evidence that people in this outbreak got sick from eating ground turkey products produced by Butterball, LLC.

On March 13, 2019, Butterball, LLC recalledexternal icon

As of May 7, 2019, this outbreak appears to be over.

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Source of original article: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) / CDC Salmonella: Outbreak Updates (tools.cdc.gov).
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