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Classified into members of the pyrogenic toxin superantigen family , SEs are a series of extracellular single-chain proteins primarily produced in food or culture media and secreted by some Staphylococcus strains, and the causative agent of SFP, which after ingestion may cause intoxication exhibited by vomiting (emetic action on the abdominal viscera) and diarrhea (epithelium of the intestinal tract and inhibition of water absorption in intestine), even collapse in severe cases .
In most SFP cases, a single enterotoxigenic staphylococcal strain isolated from the contaminated food is suspected to be the responsible strain .
Up to date, more than 30 distinct types of staphylococci strains have been verified to be infectious for humans, and the associated illnesses and diseases range from mild to severe, from no treatment required to even potentially fatal [6, 7, 10].
aureus, production and regulation of staphylococcal enterotoxins, the viable putative but nonculturable (VPNC) state, and antimicrobial resistance of Staphylococcus caused by the indiscriminate use of antibiotics in both clinical and veterinary settings.
Foodborne illness, also known as foodborne infection, foodborne diseases, or food poisoning, is defined as any illness resulting from the consumption of contaminated food that contains pathogenic bacteria, viruses, or chemical or natural toxins (such as poisonous mushrooms) [1, 2].
In the United States, Staphylococcus has been among the top 5 pathogens responsible for foodborne illnesses.
From 1983 to 1997, the annual number of SFP cases had been estimated to be 185,000, with 1,750 hospitalizations and 2 deaths, totaling a cost of 1.5 billion dollars [1, 2].