Lack of correlation between growth rate and sequence type among Cronobacter sakazakii

Food Microbiol. 2023 May;111:104191. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2022 Nov 23.


Species identification and growth rates for a collection of Cronobacter strains from clinical and non-clinical sources have been previously reported. However, advancements in DNA sequencing-based identification methods now allow for more accurate identification. Here we report the sequence types (STs) for 24 strains of Cronobacter sakazakii and examine any possible correlation between sequence type and growth rate, which could influence risk through greater pathogen multiplication and reach of infectious doses during time between formula preparation and feeding. The most common clonal complexes (CCs) identified were C. sakazakii CC1 and CC4. CC1 strains belonged to ST1 (n = 8) and ST391 (n = 1), while CC4 included ST4 (n = 4), ST255 (n = 1) and ST295 (n = 1). Three strains were found to belong to CC100 and two were found to belong to ST64. The remaining STs identified were represented by single strains. CC4 strains have a slightly not significant tendency for faster growth rates at 25 °C; however, the small sample size suggests that more strains need to be analysed to determine if this is a true result. In conclusion, the growth rates of C. sakazakii strains do not appear to be strongly correlated to ST.

Keywords: Clonal complex; Cronobacter sakazakii; Growth rate; Infant formula; MLST.

MeSH terms

  • Cronobacter sakazakii* / genetics
  • Cronobacter sakazakii* / growth & development
  • Infant Formula / microbiology
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA