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Simultaneous occurrence of selected food-borne bacterial pathogens on bovine hides, carcasses and beef meat

Wieczorek, K., Osek, J.
Polish journal of veterinary sciences 2010 v.13 no.4 pp. 645-651
Campylobacter, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, Shiga toxin, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, bacteria, beef carcasses, evisceration, food pathogens, genes, genetic markers, hides and skins, humans, intimin, microbial detection, minced beef, molecular systematics, pathogen identification, polymerase chain reaction, serotypes, virulence
The aim of this study was to determine the simultaneous occurence of Salmonella spp., L. monocytogenes, verotoxigenic E. coli (VTEC), and Campylobacter spp. in slaughtered cattle and in beef meat subjected for human consumption. A total of 406 bovine hides and 406 corresponding carcasses were used to collect the samples with a swab method after exsanguination and evisceration of animals, respectively. Furthermore, 362 beef meat samples were purchased in local retail shops over the same period of time as for the bovine samples. Food-borne bacterial pathogens were identified with standard ISO methods with some modification by the use of PCR for VTEC. The isolated bacteria were then molecularly speciated (Campylobacter), serotyped (L. monocytogenes) and characterized for the presence of several virulence marker genes (VTEC and Campylobacter). It was found that 49 hide (12.1%) and 3 (0.7%) carcass samples were contaminated with more than one bacterial pathogen tested. Most of the hides were positive for Campylobacter spp. and VTEC (27 samples) and Campylobacter spp. together with L. monocytogenes (12 samples). Eight bovine hides contained L. monocytogenes and VTEC while L. monocytogenes and Salmonella spp. were detected in one sample. Furthermore, 3 pathogens (Campylobacter spp., L. monocytogenes and VTEC) were simultaneously identified in one bovine hide tested. In case of bovine carcasses 2 samples contained Campylobacter spp. and VTEC whereas one carcass was positive for L. monocytogenes and VTEC. On the other hand, 10 out of 362 (2.8%) minced beef samples were contaminated with at least two pathogens tested. The majority of these samples were contaminated with L. monocytogenes and Salmonella spp. (6 samples). It was noticed that equal number of C. jejuni and C. coli were found, irrespective of the origin of the samples. Most of the strains possessed more than one pathogenic factor as identified by PCR. Molecular serotyping of L. monocytogenes revealed that the majority of the isolates (27 out of 31; 87.1%) belonged to 1/2a serogroup. It was found that most of the VTEC isolates possessed the Shiga toxin stx2 gene (12 strains) whereas only 2 strains were stx1-positive. The eneterohemolysin and intimin markers were identified only in 7 and 2 isolates, respectively. PCR analysis revealed that 4 VTEC belonged to O91 serogroup, 2 strains were O145 and 1 isolate was identified as O113. None of the VTEC detected in the study was O157 serogroup.