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Diversity of antibiotic‐resistant Shiga toxin‐producing Escherichia coli serogroups in foodstuffs of animal origin in northern India

Khan, Javed A., Rathore, Ram S., Abulreesh, Hussein H., Al‐thubiani, Abdullah S., Khan, Shaheen, Ahmad, Iqbal
Journal of food safety 2018 v.38 no.6 pp. e12566
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, ampicillin, animal-based foods, antibiotic resistance, beef, genes, health promotion, monitoring, multiple drug resistance, nalidixic acid, polymerase chain reaction, raw meat, serotypes, India
This study aimed to determine the diversity of antibiotic‐resistant Shiga toxin‐producing Escherichia coli (STEC) serogroups in 600 foodstuff samples of animal origin in the northern part of India. Of the 158 (26.33%) E. coli isolates that were detected in food samples the ‘O’ antigen‐based serotyping revealed the abundance of serogroups O60, O86, O154, O73, O50, O8, and O68. Overall, 45 (28.4%) E. coli isolates were potentially verotoxin producers as determined by verotoxin assay and confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), of which 42.2% of the STEC isolates originated from raw beef. Among 45 STEC isolates, 51.1% harbored vt ₁ gene whereas 48.9% of the serogroups carried vt ₂ gene. Chi‐squared test revealed significant difference (p = .001) in the prevalence of STEC serogroups in different foodstuffs. STEC serogroups showed higher resistance to nalidixic acid (71.7%) followed by ampicillin (66.6%). Multidrug resistance (i.e., resistance to 3 or more antimicrobial classes) was exhibited by 55.6% of STEC serogroups. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: This investigation demonstrated the diversity of STEC, particularly multidrug‐resistant serogroups in various foodstuffs, which is a matter of serious concern from a public health stand point. Foodstuffs of animal origin available for human consumption in the city of Bareilly, may pose significant health threats due to contamination of various toxigenic and multidrug‐resistant non‐O157 STEC serogroups, and call for public health authorities to enhance surveillance/monitoring programs to prevent the spread of multidrug‐resistant toxigenic non‐O157 STEC serogroups in Indian communities and for better public health protection.