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Prevalence of ten putative virulence genes in the emerging foodborne pathogen Arcobacter isolated from food products

Girbau, Cecilia, Guerra, Cristian, Martínez-Malaxetxebarria, Irati, Alonso, Rodrigo, Fernández-Astorga, Aurora
Food microbiology 2015 v.52 pp. 146-149
Arcobacter butzleri, Arcobacter cryaerophilus, Arcobacter skirrowii, Bivalvia, beef, chickens, clams, food pathogens, genes, human health, humans, milk, mussels, pork, virulence
Arcobacter spp. are considered to be emerging food- and waterborne pathogens for both humans and animals. However, their virulence mechanisms are still poorly understood. In this study the presence of ten virulence genes (cadF, ciaB, cj1349, hecA, hecB, mviN, pldA, irgA, tlyA and iroE) was assessed in a set of 47 strains of Arcobacter butzleri, 10 of Arcobacter cryaerophilus and 1 Arcobacter skirrowii strain recovered from different food products (pork, chicken, beef, milk, clams and mussels). Overall, the genes cadF, ciaB, cj1349, mviN, pldA and tlyA were detected in all A. butzleri and A. skirrowii strains. Lower detection rates were observed for irgA, iroE, hecA and hecB. The genes hecB and iroE were detected neither in A. cryaerophilus nor in A. skirrowii. The genes hecA and irgA were not detected in A. skirrowii. It was noteworthy that the genes hecA and hecB were significantly (P < 0.05) highly detected in A. butzleri strains isolated from clams compared with strains isolated from milk and chicken. Therefore, our findings underline clams as a source of A. butzleri strains with high prevalence of putative virulence genes. This could be hazardous to human health, especially because these bivalves are usually consumed raw or undercooked.