Occurrence and characterization of shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in raw meat, raw milk, and street vended juices in Bangladesh

M.A. Islam, A.S. Mondol, I.J. Azmi, E. de Boer, R.R. Beumer, M.H. Zwietering, A.E. Heuvelink, K.A. Talukder

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The major objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence of Shiga toxin (Stx)–producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in different types of food samples and to compare their genetic relatedness with STEC strains previously isolated from animal sources in Bangladesh. We investigated a total of 213 food samples, including 90 raw meat samples collected from retail butcher shops, 20 raw milk samples from domestic cattle, and 103 fresh juice samples from street vendors in Dhaka city. We found that more than 68% (n=62) of the raw meat samples were positive for the stx gene(s); 34% (n=21) of buffalo meats and 66% (n=41) of beef. Approximately 10% (n=2) of the raw milk and 8% (n=8) of the fresh juice samples were positive for stx. We isolated STEC O157 from seven meat samples (7.8%), of which two were from buffalo meats and five from beef; and no other STEC serotypes could be isolated. We could not isolate STEC from any of the stx-positive raw milk and juice samples. The STEC O157 isolates from raw meats were positive for the stx2, eae, katP, etpD, and enterohemorrhagic E. coli hly virulence genes, and they belonged to three different phage types: 8 (14.3%), 31 (42.8%), and 32 (42.8%). Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) typing revealed six distinct patterns among seven isolates of STEC O157, suggesting a heterogeneous clonal diversity. Of the six PFGE patterns, one was identical and the other two were =90% related to PFGE patterns of STEC O157 strains previously isolated from animal feces, indicating that raw meats are readily contaminated with fecal materials. This study represents the first survey of STEC in the food chain in Bangladesh.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1381-1385
JournalFoodborne Pathogens and Disease
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • hemolytic-uremic syndrome
  • virulence characteristics
  • large plasmid
  • o157
  • strains
  • transmission
  • salmonella
  • infections
  • cattle
  • india


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