Associations between bovine, human, and raw milk, and beef isolates of non-O157 Shiga toxigenic Escherichia coli within a restricted geographic area of the United States

R. N. Cobbold, M. A. Davis, D. H. Rice, M. Szymanski, P. I. Tarr, T. E. Besser, D. D. Hancock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

A survey for Shiga toxigenic Escherichia coli in raw milk and beef was conducted within a defined geographic region of the United States. Prevalence rates based on detection of Shiga toxin gene (stx) were 36% for retail beef, 23% for beef carcasses, and 21% for raw milk samples, which were significantly higher than were Shiga toxigenic E. coli isolation rates of 7.5, 5.8, and 3.2%, respectively. Seasonal prevalence differences were significant for stx positivity among ground beef and milk samples. Distribution of stx subtypes among isolates varied according to sample type, with stx1 predominating in milk, stx2 on carcasses, and the combination of both stx1 and stx2 in beef. Ancillary virulence markers eae and ehx were evident in 23 and 15% of isolates, respectively. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis demonstrated associations between food isolates and sympatric bovine fecal, and human clinical isolates. These data demonstrate that non-O157 Shiga toxigenic E. coli is present in the food chain in the Pacific Northwest, and its risk to health warrants critical assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1023-1027
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Food Protection
Volume71
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2008

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