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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064


HERNANDEZ-PORRAS, Elkin E. et al. Foodborne disease outbreaks studied by molecular techniques. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2017, vol.19, n.5, pp.671-678. ISSN 0124-0064.


To apply a multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique to detect Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, and Yersinia enterocolitica as a diagnostic support tool for the surveillance of foodborne disease outbreaks.

Materials and Methods

Molecular methodology was applied on clinical samples taken from individuals who were associated with foodborne disease outbreaks in two departments of Colombia. The results were compared with the data obtained by conventional culture methodology. In addition, the clonal relation of the isolations was evaluated using the Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) technique.


123 cases of foodborne disease were determined, of which 45 biological samples were confirmed by laboratory and 88 by epidemiological link. The molecular methodology detected 35/45 positive samples versus 17/45 positive samples detected by conventional methodology. PFGE demonstrated a clonal relation during each outbreak.


The results of the study demonstrate the applicability of the molecular technique as a useful diagnostic support tool to characterize foodborne disease outbreaks, allowing a timely and reliable response.

Keywords : Salmonella; listeria monocytogenes; yersinia enterocolitica; polymerase chain reaction; disease outbreaks; foodborne diseases (source: MeSH, NLM).

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