Serotypes, virulence genes, and intimin types of Shiga toxin (verotoxin)-producing Escherichia coli isolates from healthy sheep in Spain.
ABSTRACT: Fecal swabs obtained from 1,300 healthy lambs in 93 flocks in Spain in 1997 were examined for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). STEC O157:H7 strains were isolated from 5 (0.4%) animals in 4 flocks, and non-O157 STEC strains were isolated from 462 (36%) lambs in 63 flocks. A total of 384 ovine STEC strains were characterized in this study. PCR showed that 213 (55%) strains carried the stx(1) gene, 10 (3%) possessed the stx(2) gene, and 161 (42%) carried both the stx(1) and the stx(2) genes. Enterohemolysin (ehxA) and intimin (eae) virulence genes were detected in 106 (28%) and 23 (6%) of the STEC strains, respectively. The STEC strains belonged to 35 O serogroups and 64 O:H serotypes (including 18 new serotypes). However, 72% were of 1 of the following 12 serotypes: O5:H-, O6:H10, O91:H-, O117:H-, O128:H-, O128:H2, O136:H20, O146:H8, O146:H21, O156:H-, O166:H28, and ONT:H21 (where NT is nontypeable). Although the 384 STEC strains belonged to 95 different seropathotypes (associations between serotypes and virulence genes), 49% of strains belonged to only 11. O91:H- stx(1) stx(2) (54 strains) was the most common seropathotype, followed by O128:H- stx(1) stx(2) (33 strains) and O6:H10 stx(1) (25 strains). Three strains of serotypes O26:H11, O156:H11, and OX177:H11 had intimin type beta1; 5 strains of serotype O157:H7 possessed intimin type gamma1; and 15 strains of serotypes O49:H-, O52:H12, O156:H- (12 strains), and O156:H25 had the new intimin, intimin type zeta. The majority (82%) of ovine STEC strains belonged to serotypes previously found to be associated with human STEC strains, and 51% belonged to serotypes associated with STEC strains isolated from patients with hemolytic-uremic syndrome. Thus, this study confirms that healthy sheep are a major reservoir of STEC strains pathogenic for humans.
Project description:A total of 514 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) isolates from diarrheic and healthy cattle in Spain were characterized in this study. PCR showed that 101 (20%) isolates carried stx(1) genes, 278 (54%) possessed stx(2) genes, and 135 (26%) possessed both stx(1) and stx(2). Enterohemolysin (ehxA) and intimin (eae) virulence genes were detected in 326 (63%) and in 151 (29%) of the isolates, respectively. STEC isolates belonged to 66 O serogroups and 113 O:H serotypes (including 23 new serotypes). However, 67% were of one of these 15 serogroups (O2, O4, O8, O20, O22, O26, O77, O91, O105, O113, O116, O157, O171, O174, and OX177) and 52% of the isolates belonged to only 10 serotypes (O4:H4, O20:H19, O22:H8, O26:H11, O77:H41, O105:H18, O113:H21, O157:H7, O171:H2, and ONT:H19). Although the 514 STEC isolates belonged to 164 different seropathotypes (associations between serotypes and virulence genes), only 12 accounted for 43% of isolates. Seropathotype O157:H7 stx(2) eae-gamma1 ehxA (46 isolates) was the most common, followed by O157:H7 stx(1) stx(2) eae-gamma1 ehxA (34 isolates), O113:H21 stx(2) (25 isolates), O22:H8 stx(1) stx(2) ehxA (15 isolates), O26:H11 stx(1) eae-beta1 ehxA (14 isolates), and O77:H41 stx(2) ehxA (14 isolates). Forty-one (22 of serotype O26:H11) isolates had intimin beta1, 82 O157:H7 isolates possessed intimin gamma1, three O111:H- isolates had intimin type gamma2, one O49:H- strain showed intimin type delta, 13 (six of serotype O103:H2) isolates had intimin type epsilon and eight (four of serotype O156:H-) isolates had intimin zeta. We have identified a new variant of the eae intimin gene designated xi (xi) in two isolates of serotype O80:H-. The majority (85%) of bovine STEC isolates belonged to serotypes previously found for human STEC organisms and 54% to serotypes associated with STEC organisms isolated from patients with hemolytic uremic syndrome. Thus, this study confirms that cattle are a major reservoir of STEC strains pathogenic for humans.
Project description:A total of 140 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains from wildlife meat (deer, wild boar, and hare) isolated in Germany between 1998 and 2006 were characterized with respect to their serotypes and virulence markers associated with human pathogenicity. The strains grouped into 38 serotypes, but eight O groups (21, 146, 128, 113, 22, 88, 6, and 91) and four H types (21, 28, 2, and 8) accounted for 71.4% and 75.7% of all STEC strains from game, respectively. Eighteen of the serotypes, including enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) O26:[H11] and O103:H2, were previously found to be associated with human illness. Genes linked to high-level virulence for humans (stx(2), stx(2d), and eae) were present in 46 (32.8%) STEC strains from game. Fifty-four STEC isolates from game belonged to serotypes which are frequently found in human patients (O103:H2, O26:H11, O113:H21, O91:H21, O128:H2, O146:H21, and O146:H28). These 54 STEC isolates were compared with 101 STEC isolates belonging to the same serotypes isolated from farm animals, from their food products, and from human patients. Within a given serotype, most STEC strains were similar with respect to their stx genotypes and other virulence attributes, regardless of origin. The 155 STEC strains were analyzed for genetic similarity by XbaI pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. O103:H2, O26:H11, O113:H21, O128:H2, and O146:H28 STEC isolates from game were 85 to 100% similar to STEC isolates of the same strains from human patients. By multilocus sequence typing, game EHEC O103:H2 strains were attributed to a clonal lineage associated with hemorrhagic diseases in humans. The results from our study indicate that game animals represent a reservoir for and a potential source of human pathogenic STEC and EHEC strains.
Project description:We have analyzed the prevalence of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in stool specimens of patients with diarrhea or other gastrointestinal alterations from the Xeral-Calde Hospital of Lugo City (Spain). STEC strains were detected in 126 (2.5%) of 5,054 cases investigated, with a progressive increase in the incidence from 0% in 1992 to 4.4% in 1999. STEC O157:H7 was isolated in 24 cases (0.5%), whereas non-O157 STEC strains were isolated from 87 patients (1.7%). STEC strains were (after Salmonella and Campylobacter strains) the third most frequently recovered enteropathogenic bacteria. A total of 126 human STEC isolates were characterized in this study. PCR showed that 43 (34%) isolates carried stx(1) genes, 45 (36%) possessed stx(2) genes and 38 (30%) carried both stx(1) and stx(2). A total of 88 (70%) isolates carried an ehxA enterohemolysin gene, and 70 (56%) isolates possessed an eae intimin gene (27 isolates with type gamma1, 20 with type beta1, 8 with type zeta, 5 with type gamma2, and 3 with type epsilon). STEC isolates belonged to 41 O serogroups and 66 O:H serotypes, including 21 serotypes associated with hemolytic uremic syndrome and 30 new serotypes not previously reported among human STEC strains in other studies. Although the 126 STEC isolates belonged to 81 different seropathotypes (associations between serotypes and virulence genes), only four accounted for 31% of isolates. Seropathotype O157:H7 stx(1) stx(2) eae-gamma1 ehxA was the most common (13 isolates) followed by O157:H7 stx(2) eae-gamma1 ehxA (11 isolates), O26:H11 stx(1) eae-beta1 ehxA (11 isolates), and O111:H- stx(1) stx(2) eae-gamma2 ehxA (4 isolates). Our results suggest that STEC strains are a significant cause of human infections in Spain and confirm that in continental Europe, infections caused by STEC non-O157 strains are more common than those caused by O157:H7 isolates. The high prevalence of STEC strains (both O157:H7 and non-O157 strains) in human patients, and their association with serious complications, strongly supports the utilization of protocols for detection of all serotypes of STEC in Spanish clinical microbiology laboratories.
Project description:Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains are a diverse group of food-borne pathogens with various levels of virulence for humans. In this study, we describe the use of a combination of multiple real-time PCR assays for the screening of 400 raw-milk cheeses for the five main pathogenic STEC serotypes (O26:H11, O103:H2, O111:H8, O145:H28, and O157:H7). The prevalences of samples positive for stx, intimin-encoding gene (eae), and at least one of the five O group genetic markers were 29.8%, 37.3%, and 55.3%, respectively. The H2, H7, H8, H11, and H28 fliC alleles were highly prevalent and could not be used as reliable targets for screening. Combinations of stx, eae variants, and O genetic markers, which are typical of the five targeted STEC serotypes, were detected by real-time PCR in 6.5% of the cheeses (26 samples) and included stx-wzx(O26)-eae-?1 (4.8%; 19 samples), stx-wzx(O103)-eae-? (1.3%; five samples), stx-ihp1(O145)-eae-?1 (0.8%; three samples), and stx-rfbE(O157)-eae-?1 (0.3%; one sample). Twenty-eight immunomagnetic separation (IMS) assays performed on samples positive for these combinations allowed the recovery of seven eae?1-positive STEC O26:H11 isolates, whereas no STEC O103:H2, O145:H28, or O157:H7 strains could be isolated. Three stx-negative and eae?1-positive E. coli O26:[H11] strains were also isolated from cheeses by IMS. Colony hybridization allowed us to recover STEC from stx-positive samples for 15 out of 45 assays performed, highlighting the difficulties encountered in STEC isolation from dairy products. The STEC O26:H11 isolates shared the same virulence genetic profile as enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) O26:H11, i.e., they carried the virulence-associated genes EHEC-hlyA, katP, and espP, as well as genomic O islands 71 and 122. Except for one strain, they all contained the stx1 variant only, which was reported to be less frequently associated with human cases than stx2. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis showed that they displayed high genetic diversity; none of them had patterns identical to those of human O26:H11 strains investigated here.
Project description:A specific PCR for the detection of a variant of the gene encoding Shiga toxin 1 (stx(1)) called stx(1(OX3)) (GenBank accession no. Z36901) was developed. The PCR was used to investigate 148 Stx(1)-producing Escherichia coli strains from human patients (n = 72), cattle (n = 27), sheep (n = 48), and a goat (n = 1) for the presence of the stx(1(OX3)) gene. The stx(1(OX3)) gene was present in 38 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) strains from sheep belonging to serogroups O5, O125, O128, O146, and OX3 but was absent from Stx(1)-positive ovine STEC O91 strains. The stx(1(OX3)) gene was also detected in 22 STEC strains from humans with nonbloody diarrhea and from asymptomatic excreters. Serotypes O146:H21 and O128:H2 were most frequently associated with stx(1(OX3))-carrying STEC from sheep and humans. In contrast, Stx(1)-producing STEC strains from cattle and goats and 50 STEC strains from humans were all negative for the stx(1(OX3)) gene. The stx(1(OX3))-negative strains belonged to 13 serotypes which were different from those of the stx(1(OX3))-positive STEC strains. Moreover, the stx(1(OX3)) gene was not associated with STEC belonging to enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) serogroups O26, O103, O111, O118, O145, and O157. A bacteriophage carrying the stx(1(OX3)) gene (phage 6220) was isolated from a human STEC O146:H21 strain. The phage was able to lysogenize laboratory E. coli K-12 strain C600. Phage 6220 shared a similar morphology and a high degree of DNA homology with Stx(2)-encoding phage 933W, which originates from EHEC O157. In contrast, few similarities were found between phage 6220 and Stx(1)-encoding bacteriophage H-19B from EHEC O26.
Project description:We examined 219 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains from meat, milk, and cheese samples collected in Germany between 2005 and 2006. All strains were investigated for their serotypes and for genetic variants of Shiga toxins 1 and 2 (Stx1 and Stx2). stx(1) or variant genes were detected in 88 (40.2%) strains and stx(2) and variants in 177 (80.8%) strains. Typing of stx genes was performed by stx-specific PCRs and by analysis of restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLP) of PCR products. Major genotypes of the Stx1 (stx(1), stx(1c), and stx(1d)) and the Stx2 (stx(2), stx(2d), stx(2-O118), stx(2e), and stx(2g)) families were detected, and multiple types of stx genes coexisted frequently in STEC strains. Only 1.8% of the STEC strains from food belonged to the classical enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) types O26:H11, O103:H2, and O157:H7, and only 5.0% of the STEC strains from food were positive for the eae gene, which is a virulence trait of classical EHEC. In contrast, 95 (43.4%) of the food-borne STEC strains carried stx(2) and/or mucus-activatable stx(2d) genes, an indicator for potential high virulence of STEC for humans. Most of these strains belonged to serotypes associated with severe illness in humans, such as O22:H8, O91:H21, O113:H21, O174:H2, and O174:H21. stx(2) and stx(2d) STEC strains were found frequently in milk and beef products. Other stx types were associated more frequently with pork (stx(2e)), lamb, and wildlife meat (stx(1c)). The combination of serotyping and stx genotyping was found useful for identification and for assignment of food-borne STEC to groups with potential lower and higher levels of virulence for humans.
Project description:We have investigated 677 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains from humans to determine their serotypes, virulence genes, and clinical signs in patients. Six different Shiga toxin types (1, 1c, 2, 2c, 2d, and 2e) were distributed in the STEC strains. Intimin (eae) genes were present in 62.6% of the strains and subtyped into intimins alpha1, beta1, gamma1, epsilon, theta, and eta. Shiga toxin types 1c and 2d were present only in eae-negative STEC strains, and type 2 was significantly (P < 0.001) more frequent in eae-positive STEC strains. Enterohemorrhagic E. coli hemolysin was associated with 96.2% of the eae-positive strains and with 65.2% of the eae-negative strains. Clinical signs in the patients were abdominal pain (8.7%), nonbloody diarrhea (59.2%), bloody diarrhea (14.3%), and hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) (3.5%), and 14.3% of the patients had no signs of gastrointestinal disease or HUS. Infections with eae-positive STEC were significantly (P < 0.001) more frequent in children under 6 years of age than in other age groups, whereas eae-negative STEC infections dominated in adults. The STEC strains were grouped into 74 O:H types by serotyping and by PCR typing of the flagellar (fliC) genes in 221 nonmotile STEC strains. Eleven serotypes (O157:[H7], O26:[H11], O103:H2, O91:[H14], O111:[H8], O145:[H28], O128:H2, O113:[H4], O146:H21, O118:H16, and O76:[H19]) accounted for 69% of all STEC strains. We identified 41 STEC strains belonging to 31 serotypes which had not previously been described as human STEC. Twenty-six of these were positive for intimins alpha1 (one serotype), beta1 (eight serotypes), epsilon (two serotypes), and eta (three serotypes). Our study indicates that different types of STEC strains predominate in infant and adult patients and that new types of STEC strains are present among human isolates.
Project description:Unlike Shiga toxin 2 (stx(2)) genes, most nucleotide sequences of Shiga toxin 1 (stx(1)) genes from Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), Shigella dysenteriae, and several bacteriophages (H19B, 933J, and H30) are highly conserved. Consequently, there has been little incentive to investigate variants of stx(1) among STEC isolates derived from human or animal sources. However stx(1OX3), originally identified in an OX3:H8 isolate from a healthy sheep in Germany, differs from other stx(1) subtypes by 43 nucleotides, resulting in changes to 12 amino acid residues, and has been renamed stx(1c). In this study we describe the development of a PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) assay that distinguishes stx(1c) from other stx(1) subtypes. The PCR-RFLP assay was used to study 378 stx(1)-containing STEC isolates. Of these, 207 were isolated from sheep, 104 from cattle, 45 from humans, 11 from meat, 5 from swine, 5 from unknown sources, and 1 from a cattle water trough. Three hundred fifty-five of the 378 isolates (93.9%) also possessed at least one other associated virulence gene (ehxA, eaeA, and/or stx(2)); the combination stx(1), stx(2), and ehxA was the most common (175 of 355 [49.3%]), and 90 of 355 (25.4%) isolates possessed eaeA. One hundred thirty-six of 207 (65.7%) ovine isolates possessed stx(1c) alone and belonged to 41 serotypes. Seventy-one of 136 (52.2%) comprised the common ovine serotypes O5:H(-), O128:H2, and O123:H(-). Fifty-two of 207 isolates (25.1%) possessed an stx(1) subtype; 27 (51.9%) of these belonged to serotype O91:H(-). Nineteen of 207 isolates (9.2%) contained both stx(1c) and stx(1) subtypes, and 14 belonged to serotype O75:H8. In marked contrast, 97 of 104 (93.3%) bovine isolates comprising 44 serotypes possessed an stx(1) subtype, 6 isolates possessed stx(1c), and the remaining isolate possessed both stx(1c) and stx(1) subtypes. Ten of 11 (91%) isolates cultured from meat in New Zealand possessed stx(1c) (serotypes O5:H(-), O75:H8/H40, O81:H26, O88:H25, O104:H(-)/H7, O123:H(-)/H10, and O128:H2); most of these serotypes are commonly recovered from the feces of healthy sheep. Serotypes containing stx(1) recovered from cattle rarely were the same as those isolated from sheep. Although an stx(1c) subtype was never associated with the typical enterohemorrhagic E. coli serogroups O26, O103, O111, O113, and O157, 13 human isolates possessed stx(1c). Of these, six isolates with serotype O128:H2 (from patients with diarrhea), four O5:H(-) isolates (from patients with hemolytic-uremic syndrome), and three isolates with serotypes O123:H(-) (diarrhea), OX3:H8 (hemolytic-uremic syndrome), and O81:H6 (unknown health status) represent serotypes that are commonly isolated from sheep.
Project description:Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) cause bloody diarrhea (BD), hemorrhagic colitis (HC), and even hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). In Nordic countries, STEC are widely spread and usually associated with gastrointestinal symptoms and HUS. The objective of this study was to investigate the occurrence of STEC in Swedish patients over 10 years of age from 2003 through 2015, and to analyze the correlation of critical STEC virulence factors with clinical symptoms and duration of stx shedding. Diarrheal stool samples were screened for presence of stx by real-time PCR. All STEC isolates were characterized by DNA microarray assay and PCR to determine serogenotypes, stx subtypes, and presence of intimin gene eae and enterohaemolysin gene ehxA. Multilocus sequencing typing (MLST) was used to assess phylogenetic relationships. Clinical features were collected and analyzed using data from the routine infection control measures in the county. A total of 14,550 samples were enrolled in this 12-years period study, and 175 (1.2%) stools were stx positive by real-time PCR. The overall incidence of STEC infection was 4.9 cases per 100,000 person-years during the project period. Seventy-five isolates, with one isolate per sample were recovered, among which 43 were from non-bloody stools, 32 from BD, and 3 out of the 75 STEC positive patients developed HUS. The presence of stx2 in both stools and isolates were associated with BD (p = 0.008, p = 0.05), and the presence of eae in isolates was related to BD (p = 0.008). The predominant serogenotypes associated with BD were O157:H7, O26:H11, O121:H19, and O103:H2. Isolates from HUS were O104:H4 and O98: H21 serotypes. Phylogenetic analysis revealed our strains were highly diverse, and showed close relatedness to HUS-associated STEC collection strains. In conclusion, the presence of stx2 in stool was related to BD already at the initial diagnostic procedure, thus could be used as risk predictor at an early stage. STEC isolates with stx2 and eae were significantly associated with BD. The predominant serotypes associated with BD were O157:H7, O26:H11, O121:H19, and O103:H2. Nevertheless, the pathogenic potential of other serotypes and genotypes should not be neglected.
Project description:Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is an important foodborne pathogen. The increasing incidence of non-O157 STEC has posed a great risk to public health. Besides the Shiga toxin (Stx), the adherence factor, intimin, coded by eae gene plays a critical role in STEC pathogenesis. In this study, we investigated the prevalence and polymorphisms of eae gene in non-O157 STEC strains isolated from different sources in China. Among 735 non-O157 STEC strains, eae was present in 70 (9.5%) strains. Eighteen different eae genotypes were identified in 62 eae-positive STEC strains with the nucleotide identities ranging from 86.01% to 99.97%. Among which, seven genotypes were newly identified in this study. The eighteen eae genotypes can be categorized into five eae subtypes, namely ?1, ?1, ?1, ?3 and ?. Associations between eae subtypes/genotypes and serotypes as well as origins of strains were observed in this study. Strains belonging to serotypes O26:H11, O103:H2, O111:H8 are associated with particular eae subtypes, i.e., ?1, ?1, ?, respectively. Most strains from diarrheal patients (7/9, 77.8%) carried eae-?1 subtype, while most isolates from cattle (23/26, 88.5%) carried eae-?3 subtype. This study demonstrated a genetic diversity of eae gene in non-O157 STEC strains from different sources in China.