DOI: 10.1101/461327Nov 4, 2018Paper

Virulence gene profiles and phylogeny of Shiga toxin-positive Escherichia coli strains isolated from FDA regulated foods during 2010-2017

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Narjol Gonzalez-Escalona, Julie Kase


Illnesses caused by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STECs) can be life threatening, such as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The STECs most frequently identified by USDA's Microbiological Data Program (MDP) carried toxin gene subtypes stx1a and/or stx2a. Here we describe the genome sequences of 331 STECs isolated from foods regulated by the FDA 2010-2017, determining their genomic identity, serotype, sequence type, virulence potential, and prevalence of antimicrobial resistance. Isolates were selected from the MDP archive, routine food testing by field labs (ORA), food testing by a contract company, and our laboratory (ORS). Only 276 (83%) were confirmed as STECs by in silico analysis. Foods from which STECs were recovered included cilantro (6%), spinach (25%), lettuce (11%), and flour (9%). Phylogenetic analysis using core genome MLST revealed these STEC genomes were highly variable, with some clustering associated with ST types and serotypes. We detected 95 different sequence types (ST); several ST were previously associated with HUS: ST21 and ST29 (O26:H11), ST11 (O157:H7), ST33 (O91:H14), ST17 (O103:H2), and ST16 (O111:H-). in silico virulome analyses showed ~ 51% of these strains were potentially pathogenic [beside...Continue Reading

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