Pig ear dog treat Salmonella probe yields more cases and a warning

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today said 34 more Salmonella illnesses linked to multidrug-resistant strains have been reported in an outbreak tied to pig ear dog treats, raising the national total to 127.

And federal health officials are now warning people not to buy or feed any pig ear dog treats to pets, including those that may already be in homes.

Cases in 33 states

In an update today, the CDC said 33 states have now reported illnesses, an increase of 13 since its last update on Jul 17. So far, 26 people have been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported. Patients range in age from 1 year to 90 years, and 24 of the infections are in children younger than age 5.

Officials in several states and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have tested pig ear dog treats at various suppliers and have found many different Salmonella strains. No single supplier, distributor, or common brand has been identified that could account for all the illnesses, which is why the CDC and FDA are now urging people to not buy or feed any pig ear dog treats to pets.

A search of the CDC PulseNet database, the national subtyping network, found that people had been infected with some of the same strains found in testing, with some illnesses dating back to 2015; these people have been added to the outbreak investigation.

So far the Salmonella subtypes involved include I 4,[5],12:i:-, Infantis, Newport, and London. Other strains, however, have been isolated from pig ear dog treats, and investigators are working to determine if any human illnesses are linked to them. The additional Salmonella subtypes include Panama, Brandenburg, Anatum, and Livingstone.

High rates of resistance

Whole-genome sequencing of samples from 71 people predicted no resistance for 1 isolate but predicted resistance or decreased susceptibility for the other 70.

Some of the tested pig ears were imported from Argentina and Brazil, and some product labels reflect that the products were irradiated, a process that should kill Salmonella—which the CDC said might mean they weren't irradiated or that there was another problem that led to contamination.

Two companies have recalled their pig ear dog treats, but the CDC said they don't account for all of the outbreak illnesses. The CDC said the investigation continues and that it will provide more updates with new information is available.

See also:

Jul 31 CDC Salmonella outbreak update

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