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Bacteria in animal products seized at airports

C. Barros de Meloa, M. E. Pinheiro de Sá, V. M. Sabinoc and others

AIR travel can help the spread of zoonotic pathogens. This study aimed to analyse animal products seized from passengers at airports in Brazil and to determine which pathogens, if any, were present.

Passengers from a total of 119 flights at Guarulhos airport in Sao Paolo and Galeao airport in Rio de Janeiro were intercepted and their luggage scanned. Any animal products were seized and tested for the presence of coliforms, Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella species. A total of 322 animal products were tested.

Coliforms were found in 48 of the 322 products. Total coliform counts were significantly higher in meat products than in dairy products. They were also significantly higher in animal products seized from passengers travelling from Asia, with an average of 100,000 colony forming units (cfu) in products seized from passengers travelling from Asia compared to 4318 cfu for those travelling from Europe and 4889 cfu for those from South America. S aureus was detected in seven of the 322 products, while L monocytogenes was present in 11 samples. Salmonella was detected in a single product – a pig sausage being imported from Italy. The products seized came from cattle, pigs, buffalo, goats, ducks, chicken, llamas, sheep, rabbits …

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