Enerobacter sakazakii is a Gram negative bacterium and described as an ubiquitous and opportunistic pathogen that currently contaminates a wide spectrum of foods and poses a lethal threat to neonates, the elderly and persons with immune deficiencies.
This bacterium forms a biofilm and has allowed this species to establish it self as food pathogen in most food industries and handling facilities.
Most neonatal C. sakazakii infections cases have been associated with the use of powdered infant formula.
In humans, E. sakazakii has been found to affect specifically the vascular system the gastrointestinal system and the nervous system. Establishment in the human vascular system causes bactereaemia and/or sepsis which often proceeded by colonization beyond the blood brain barrier which results in ceribro spinal fluid infection and meningitis; this progresses into intracerebral infarctions, brain abscess and/or cyst formation resulting in central nervous system deterioration. Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), also associated with E. sakazakii infection, and is currently the most common gastrointestinal emergency in neonates, it characterized by necrosis of the gastrointestinal lumen.