Comparison of Three Techniques for Detecting Enterotoxin A (SEA) in Clinically Relevant Staphylococcus aureus Strains



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Thirty-three clinical strains of Staphylococcus aureus were screened for the production of staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA) protein and/or its gene using three techniques, reversed passive latex agglutination (RPLA), Ouchterlony double diffusion (ODD), and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Of the isolates, two produced detectable levels of SEA (6%), while 22 (64.7%) harbored the gene for SEA. These results indicate that clinical S. aureus isolates commonly have the potential of producing SEA. ODD testing revealed promise for using it to detect prolific producers of enterotoxins. RPLA was shown to detect enterotoxins with specificity and accuracy. PCR revealed that although clinical strains frequently have the sea gene, they often do not produce SEA. Further studies should examine the presence of other staphylococcal enterotoxin genes and products. Growth conditions should also be evaluated to determine the ideal environments for enterotoxin production.



Staphylococcus aureus, staphylococcal enterotoxin A, SEA, modified ODD, RPLA, PCR