Contamination of bovine, sheep and goat meat with Brucella spp.

  • Francesco Casalinuovo | francesco.casalinuovo@cert.izsmportici.it Institute for Experimental Veterinary Medicine of Southern Italy, Catanzaro, Italy.
  • Lucia Ciambrone Institute for Experimental Veterinary Medicine of Southern Italy, Catanzaro, Italy.
  • Antonio Cacia Institute for Experimental Veterinary Medicine of Southern Italy, Catanzaro, Italy.
  • Paola Rippa Institute for Experimental Veterinary Medicine of Southern Italy, Catanzaro, Italy.

Abstract

A study was conducted in order to evaluate the contamination by Brucella spp. of meat from animals slaughtered because they had resulted positive for brucellosis at some time during their life. After slaughter and before delivery to market outlets, swab samples were taken from 307 carcasses of infected animals: 40 cattle, 60 sheep and 207 goats. The swabs were subsequently analysed by means of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. In addition, bacteriological tests were carried out on the lymph nodes and internal organs of the same animals. Brucella spp. was detected by means of PCR in 25/307 carcasses (8%): 1 bovine (2.5%), 9 sheep (15%) and 15 goats (7.2%) and was isolated by means of a cultural method in 136/307 carcasses (44%). Moreover, additional analysis, performed on lymph nodes from the same carcasses that had proved positive by PCR, allowed highlighting type 3 Brucella abortus in the bovine carcass and type 3 Brucella melitensis in the sheep and goat carcasses. The study shows that cattle, sheep and goats meat of animals slaughtered because they had tested positive for brucellosis may be contaminated by Brucella spp. As this could constitute a real risk of transmission to both butchery personnel and consumers, the meat of animals infected by Brucella spp. should be analysed before being marketed. In this respect, PCR technique performed on swabs proved to be more useful, practical and faster than the traditional bacteriological method.

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Author Biographies

Francesco Casalinuovo, Institute for Experimental Veterinary Medicine of Southern Italy, Catanzaro
Director of laboratory microbiological food control
Lucia Ciambrone, Institute for Experimental Veterinary Medicine of Southern Italy, Catanzaro
 biomedical operator of the molecular biology lab
Antonio Cacia, Institute for Experimental Veterinary Medicine of Southern Italy, Catanzaro
Doctor veterinary laboratory molecular biology
Paola Rippa, Institute for Experimental Veterinary Medicine of Southern Italy, Catanzaro
biomedical operator of the molecular biology lab
Published
2016-06-03
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Original Articles
Keywords:
Brucella spp., Food safety, Meat, Polymerase chain reaction
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How to Cite
Casalinuovo, F., Ciambrone, L., Cacia, A., & Rippa, P. (2016). Contamination of bovine, sheep and goat meat with Brucella spp. Italian Journal of Food Safety, 5(3). https://doi.org/10.4081/ijfs.2016.5913

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