Characterization of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli isolated from healthy pigs in China.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is recognized as an important human diarrheal pathogen. Swine plays an important role as a carrier of this pathogen. In this study we determined the prevalence and characteristics of STEC from healthy swine collected between May 2011 and August 2012 from 3 cities/provinces in China. RESULTS: A total of 1003 samples, including 326 fecal, 351 small intestinal contents and 326 colon contents samples, was analyzed. Two hundred and fifty five samples were stx-positive by PCR and 93 STEC isolates were recovered from 62 stx-positive samples. Twelve O serogroups and 19 O:H serotypes including 6 serotypes (O100:H20/[H20], O143:H38/[H38], O87:H10, O172:H30/[H30], O159:H16, O9:H30/[H30]) rarely found in swine and ruminants were identified. All 93 STEC isolates harbored stx2 only, all of which were stx2e subtype including 1 isolate being a new variant of stx2e. 53.76%, 15.05% and 2.15% STEC isolates carried astA, hlyA and ehxA respectively. Four STEC isolates harbored the high-pathogenicity island. Of the 15 adherence-associated genes tested, 13 (eae, efa1, iha, lpfAO113, lpfAO157/OI-154, lpfAO157/OI-141, toxB, saa, F4, F5, F6, F17 or F41) were all absent while 2 (paa and F18) were present in 7 and 4 STEC isolates respectively. The majority of the isolates were resistant to tetracycline (79.57%), nalidixic acid (78.49%), trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (73.12%) and kanamycin (55.91%). The STEC isolates were divided into 63 pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns and 21 sequence types (STs). Isolates of the same STs generally showed the same or similar drug resistance patterns. A higher proportion of STEC isolates from Chongqing showed multidrug resistance with one ST (ST3628) resistant to 14 antimicrobials. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that swine is a significant reservoir of STEC strains in China. Based on comparison by serotypes and sequence types with human strains and presence of virulence genes, the swine STEC may have a low potential to cause human disease.
Project description:Similar to ruminants, swine have been shown to be a reservoir for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), and pork products have been linked with outbreaks associated with STEC O157 and O111:H-. STEC strains, isolated in a previous study from fecal samples of late-finisher pigs, belonged to a total of 56 serotypes, including O15:H27, O91:H14, and other serogroups previously associated with human illness. The isolates were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and a high-throughput real-time PCR system to determine the Shiga toxin (Stx) subtype and virulence-associated and putative virulence-associated genes they carried. Select STEC strains were further analyzed using a Minimal Signature E. coli Array Strip. As expected, stx 2e (81%) was the most common Stx variant, followed by stx 1a (14%), stx 2d (3%), and stx 1c (1%). The STEC serogroups that carried stx 2d were O15:H27, O159:H16 and O159:H-. Similar to stx 2a and stx 2c, the stx 2d variant is associated with development of hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome, and reports on the presence of this variant in STEC strains isolated from swine are lacking. Moreover, the genes encoding heat stable toxin (estIa) and enteroaggregative E. coli heat stable enterotoxin-1 (astA) were commonly found in 50 and 44% of isolates, respectively. The hemolysin genes, hlyA and ehxA, were both detected in 7% of the swine STEC strains. Although the eae gene was not found, other genes involved in host cell adhesion, including lpfAO113 and paa were detected in more than 50% of swine STEC strains, and a number of strains also carried iha, lpfAO26, lpfAO157, fedA, orfA, and orfB. The present work provides new insights on the distribution of virulence factors among swine STEC strains and shows that swine may carry Stx1a-, Stx2e-, or Stx2d-producing E. coli with virulence gene profiles associated with human infections.
Project description:Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) are recognized as important human pathogens of public health concern. Many animals are the sources of STEC. In this study we determined the occurrence and characteristics of the STEC in yaks (Bos grunniens) from the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, China. A total of 728 yak fecal samples was collected from June to August, 2012 and was screened for the presence of the stx 1 and stx 2 genes by TaqMan real-time PCR after the sample was enriched in modified Tryptone Soya Broth. Of the 138 (18.96%) stx 1 and/or stx 2-positive samples, 85 (61.59%) were confirmed to have at least 1 STEC isolate present by culture isolation, from which 128 STEC isolates were recovered. All STEC isolates were serotyped, genotyped by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and characterized for the presence of 16 known virulence factors. Fifteen different O serogroups and 36 different O:H serotypes were identified in the 128 STEC isolates with 21 and 4 untypable for the O and H antigens respectively. One stx 1 subtype (stx 1a) and 5 stx 2 subtypes (stx 2a, stx 2b, stx 2c, stx 2d and stx 2g) were present in these STEC isolates. Apart from lpfA O157/OI-141, lpfA O157/OI-154, lpfA O113, katP and toxB which were all absent, other virulence factors screened (eaeA, iha, efa1, saa, paa, cnf1, cnf2, astA, subA, exhA and espP) were variably present in the 128 STEC isolates. PFGE were successful for all except 5 isolates and separated them into 67 different PFGE patterns. For the 18 serotypes with 2 or more isolates, isolates of the same serotypes had the same or closely related PFGE patterns, demonstrating clonality of these serotypes. This study was the first report on occurrence and characteristics of STEC isolated from yaks (Bos grunniens) from the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, China, and extended the genetic diversity and reservoir host range of STEC.
Project description:Shiga toxin 2e (Stx2e)-producing strains from food (n = 36), slaughtered pigs (n = 25), the environment (n = 21), diseased pigs (n = 19), and humans (n = 9) were investigated for production of Stx2e by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, for virulence markers by PCR, and for their serotypes to evaluate their role as potential human pathogens. Stx2e production was low in 64% of all 110 strains. Stx2e production was inducible by mitomycin C but differed considerably between strains. Analysis by nucleotide sequencing and transcription of stx(2e) genes in high- and low-Stx2e-producing strains showed that toxin production correlated with transcription rates of stx(2e) genes. DNA sequences specific for the int, Q, dam, and S genes of the stx(2e) bacteriophage P27 were found in 109 strains, indicating cryptic P27-like prophages, although 102 of these were not complete for all genes tested. Genes encoding intimin (eae), enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli hemolysin (ehx), or other stx(1) or stx(2) variants were not found, whereas genes for heat-stable enterotoxins STI, STII, or EAST1 were present in 54.5% of the strains. Seven major serotypes that were associated with diseased pigs (O138:H14, O139:H1, and O141:H4) or with slaughter pigs, food, and the environment (O8:H4, O8:H9, O100:H30, and O101:H9) accounted for 60% of all Stx2e strains. The human Stx2e isolates did not belong to these major serotypes of Stx2e strains, and high production of Stx2e in human strains was not related to diarrheal disease. The results from this study and other studies do not point to Stx2e as a pathogenicity factor for diarrhea and hemolytic uremic syndrome in humans.
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:To determine the presence of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and other potentially diarrheagenic E. coli strains in retail meats, 7,258 E. coli isolates collected by the U.S. National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) retail meat program from 2002 to 2007 were screened for Shiga toxin genes. In addition, 1,275 of the E. coli isolates recovered in 2006 were examined for virulence genes specific for other diarrheagenic E. coli strains. Seventeen isolates (16 from ground beef and 1 from a pork chop) were positive for stx genes, including 5 positive for both stx(1) and stx(2), 2 positive for stx(1), and 10 positive for stx(2). The 17 STEC strains belonged to 10 serotypes: O83:H8, O8:H16, O15:H16, O15:H17, O88:H38, ONT:H51, ONT:H2, ONT:H10, ONT:H7, and ONT:H46. None of the STEC isolates contained eae, whereas seven carried enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) hlyA. All except one STEC isolate exhibited toxic effects on Vero cells. DNA sequence analysis showed that the stx(2) genes from five STEC isolates encoded mucus-activatable Stx2d. Subtyping of the 17 STEC isolates by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) yielded 14 distinct restriction patterns. Among the 1,275 isolates from 2006, 11 atypical enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) isolates were identified in addition to 3 STEC isolates. This study demonstrated that retail meats, mainly ground beef, were contaminated with diverse STEC strains. The presence of atypical EPEC strains in retail meat is also of concern due to their potential to cause human infections.
Project description:Hybrid E. coli pathotypes are representing emerging public health threats with enhanced virulence from different pathotypes. Hybrids of Shiga toxin-producing and enterotoxigenic E. coli (STEC/ETEC) have been reported to be associated with diarrheal disease and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) in humans. Here, we identified and characterized four clinical STEC/ETEC hybrids from diarrheal patients with or without fever or abdominal pain and healthy contact in Sweden. Rare stx2 subtypes were present in STEC/ETEC hybrids. Stx2 production was detectable in stx2a and stx2e containing strains. Different copies of ETEC virulence marker, sta gene, were found in two hybrids. Three sta subtypes, namely, sta1, sta4 and sta5 were designated, with sta4 being predominant. The hybrids represented diverse and rare serotypes (O15:H16, O187:H28, O100:H30, and O136:H12). Genome-wide phylogeny revealed that these hybrids exhibited close relatedness with certain ETEC, STEC/ETEC hybrid and commensal E. coli strains, implying the potential acquisition of Stx-phages or/and ETEC virulence genes in the emergence of STEC/ETEC hybrids. Given the emergence and public health significance of hybrid pathotypes, a broader range of virulence markers should be considered in the E. coli pathotypes diagnostics, and targeted follow up of cases is suggested to better understand the hybrid infection.
Project description: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:Shiga toxin (Stx) producing Escherichia coli (STEC) cause the edema disease in pigs by releasing the swine-pathogenic Stx2e subtype as the key virulence factor. Stx2e targets endothelial cells of animal organs including the kidney harboring the Stx receptor glycosphingolipids (GSLs) globotriaosylceramide (Gb3Cer, Gal?1-4Gal?1-4Glc?1-1Cer) and globotetraosylceramide (Gb4Cer, GalNAc?1-3Gal?1-4Gal?1-4Glc?1-1Cer). Since the involvement of renal epithelial cells in the edema disease is unknown, in this study, we analyzed the porcine kidney epithelial cell lines, LLC-PK1 and PK-15, regarding the presence of Stx-binding GSLs, their sensitivity towards Stx2e, and the inhibitory potential of Gb3- and Gb4-neoglycolipids, carrying phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) as the lipid anchor, towards Stx2e. Immunochemical and mass spectrometric analysis revealed various Gb3Cer and Gb4Cer lipoforms as the dominant Stx-binding GSLs in both LLC-PK1 and PK-15 cells. A dihexosylceramide with proposed Gal?1-4Gal-sequence (Gal2Cer) was detected in PK-15 cells, whereas LLC-PK1 cells lacked this compound. Both cell lines were susceptible towards Stx2e with LLC-PK1 representing an extremely Stx2e-sensitive cell line. Gb3-PE and Gb4-PE applied as glycovesicles significantly reduced the cytotoxic activity of Stx2e towards LLC-PK1 cells, whereas only Gb4-PE exhibited some protection against Stx2e for PK-15 cells. This is the first report identifying Stx2e receptors of porcine kidney epithelial cells and providing first data on their Stx2e-mediated damage suggesting possible involvement in the edema disease.
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: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.