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Characterization and Virulence Potential of Serogroup O113 Shiga Toxin–Producing Escherichia coli Strains Isolated from Beef and Cattle in the United States

Feng, Peter, Delannoy, Sabine, Lacher, David W., Bosilevac, Joseph M., Fach, Patrick
Journal of food protection 2017 v.80 no.3 pp. 383-391
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, cattle, feces, genes, genetic variation, ground beef, intestinal mucosa, intimin, microarray technology, pathogens, serotypes, spinach, virulence, Australia, United States
Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli (STEC) of serotype O113:H21 have caused severe diseases but are unusual in that they do not produce the intimin protein required for adherence to intestinal epithelial cells. Strains of serogroup O113 are one of the most common STEC found in ground beef and beef products in the United States, but their virulence potential is unknown. We used a microarray to characterize 65 O113 strains isolated in the United States from ground beef, beef trim, cattle feces, and fresh spinach. Most were O113:H21 strains, but there were also nine strains of O113:H4 serotype. Although strains within the same serotype had similar profiles for the genes that were tested on the array, the profiles were distinct between the two serotypes, and the strains belonged to different clonal groups. Analysis by clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat analysis showed that O113:H4 strains are conserved genetically, but the O113:H21 strains showed considerable polymorphism and genetic diversity. In comparison to the O113:H21 strains from Australia that were implicated in severe disease, the U.S. isolates showed similar genetic profiles to the known pathogens from Australia, suggesting that these may also have the potential to cause infections.