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In June 2008 an outbreak of gastroenteritis was registered in Sunny Beach resort situated on the Black Sea coast in Bulgaria, affecting 14 employees of a hotel, five of whom tested positive for Salmonella Enteritidis. During June-July 2008 four sporadic S. Enteritidis cases were also reported and two of them were foreign tourists. In the same period S. Enteritidis cases connected with travel to Bulgaria were reported to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) from Finland, United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany and Norway. We describe a study performed to find out relatedness between Bulgarian and Finnish S. Enteritidis isolates using phage typing (PT) and pulse-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Fifteen S. Enteritidis isolates from Bulgaria and 195 from Finland (including 28 from travellers to Bulgaria) were phage typed. Within Bulgarian isolates four different PTs were found and PT6c with eight strains was predominant. Nineteen out of 28 strains isolated from the Finns visiting Bulgaria belonged also to PT6c. PFGE typing (with one enzyme) of all S. Enteritidis PT6c strains (8 Bulgarian and 19 Finnish isolates) showed indistinguishable PFGE profile. The typing results thus demonstrated a link between Bulgarian and Finnish S. Enteritidis isolates. We conclude that S. Enteritidis PT6c was the cause of a salmonellosis outbreak in Sunny Beach and was exported to Finland, and likely to the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden and Germany.


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