Underestimated Risks of Infantile Infectious Disease from the Caregiver’s Typical Handling Practices of Infant Formula

Tae Jin Cho, Ji Yeon Hwang, Hye Won Kim, Yong Ki Kim, Jeong Il Kwon, Young Jun Kim, Kwang Won Lee, Sun Ae Kim, Min-Suk Rhee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The impact on infant caregiver as a reservoir of pathogens has not been exploited with perspective to powdered infant formula (PIF). Here we reveal novel route of pathogen transfer through hand-spoon-PIF unexpectedly occurred by even typical practices of caregivers, handling of PIF and storage of feeding-spoon in PIF container. Hand-spoon-PIF contamination route was simulated to analyze the transfer and subsequent survival of pathogens. Major pathogens associated with infantile fatal diseases (Cronobacter sakazakii, Salmonella enterica, Staphylococcus aureus) were readily transmitted to PIF from skin (3−6 log CFU/hand) via spoons following long-term survival of transferred pathogens (3 weeks; use-by date of PIF) as the excessive level of infectious dose, highlighting direct onset of diseases. Low bacterial load on skin (ca. 1 log CFU/hand) could prevent cross-contamination of PIF, however, at least 72 h survival of transferred pathogen on spoons demonstrated the probability on re-contamination of PIF. To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the cross-contamination of utensils in contact with powdered-foods. Bacterial load on hands is the key determinant of pathogen transfer and the extent of risk are species-dependent. These evidential results redefine risk of caregivers’ practices and facilitate incorporation of cross-contamination into risk-assessment as underestimated route of infection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9799
JournalScientific reports
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 1

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Infant Formula
Caregivers
Communicable Diseases
Hand
Bacterial Load
Survival
Cronobacter sakazakii
Skin
Salmonella enterica
Staphylococcus aureus
Food

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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Underestimated Risks of Infantile Infectious Disease from the Caregiver’s Typical Handling Practices of Infant Formula. / Cho, Tae Jin; Hwang, Ji Yeon; Kim, Hye Won; Kim, Yong Ki; Il Kwon, Jeong; Kim, Young Jun; Lee, Kwang Won; Kim, Sun Ae; Rhee, Min-Suk.

In: Scientific reports, Vol. 9, No. 1, 9799, 01.12.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cho, Tae Jin ; Hwang, Ji Yeon ; Kim, Hye Won ; Kim, Yong Ki ; Il Kwon, Jeong ; Kim, Young Jun ; Lee, Kwang Won ; Kim, Sun Ae ; Rhee, Min-Suk. / Underestimated Risks of Infantile Infectious Disease from the Caregiver’s Typical Handling Practices of Infant Formula. In: Scientific reports. 2019 ; Vol. 9, No. 1.
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