Role of subtyping in detecting salmonella cross contamination in the laboratory
De Lappe, Niall
Connor, Jean O
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De Lappe, Niall; Connor, Jean O; Doran, Geraldine; Devane, Genevieve; Cormican, Martin (2009). Role of subtyping in detecting salmonella cross contamination in the laboratory. BMC Microbiology 9 ,
Background: With the exception of M. tuberculosis, little has been published on the problems of cross-contamination in bacteriology laboratories. We performed a retrospective analysis of subtyping data from the National Salmonella Reference Laboratory (Ireland) from 2000-2007 to identify likely incidents of laboratory cross contamination. Methods: Serotyping and antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed on all Salmonella isolates received in the NSRL. Phage typing was performed on all S. Typhimurium and S. Enteritidis isolates while multi-locus variance analysis (MLVA) was performed on selected S. Typhimurium isolates. Pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) using the PulseNet standard protocol was performed on selected isolates of various serovars. Results: Twenty-three incidents involving fifty-six isolates were identified as likely to represent cross contamination. The probable sources of contamination identified were the laboratory positive control isolate (n = 13), other test isolates (n = 9) or proficiency test samples (n = 1). Conclusion: The scale of laboratory cross-contamination in bacteriology is most likely under recognized. Testing laboratories should be aware of the potential for cross-contamination, regularly review protocols to minimize its occurrence and consider it as a possibility when unexpected results are obtained.