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Isolation and molecular characterization of shigatoxigenic O157 and Non-O157 Escherichia coli in Raw Milk marketed in Chittagong, Bangladesh

Md. Kauser-Ul Alam, Nazmul Sarwar, Shireen Akther, Monsur Ahmad, Paritosh Kumar Biswas
Journal of dairying, foods & home sciences 2021 v.40 no.1 pp. 1-7
Shiga-like toxins, Singapore, agar, antigens, enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli, eosin, genes, hemolysins, hygiene, intimin, methylene blue, milk, milk production, polymerase chain reaction, public health, raw milk, risk, selective media, spoilage, virulence, Bangladesh
Quality and microbial safety of milk is demanding day by day as it is considered as a host for pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms. In this study, isolation and molecular characterization of shigatoxigenic O157 and non-O157 Escherichia coli in raw milk marketed in Chittagong, Bangladesh were done on 186 raw milk samples in Bangladesh. MacConkey agar was initially used to screen for the presence of E. coli and the suspected growth as evidenced by large pink colonies on MacConkey agar. Finally the organism was verified by plating through Eosin Methylene Blue (EMB) agar (a selective medium for E. coli where it produces metallic sheen) and applying standard biochemical tests for E. coli. The presence of virulent genes, Shiga-like toxin (stx1 and stx2), Intimin (eaeA), O157 antigen rfbE and Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) Hemolysin (EHEC) hlyA in the contaminating E. coli population was determined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) run on a thermocycler (Applied Biosystem, 2720 thermal cycler, Singapore). Among the raw milk samples, 33 samples were identified as E.coli positive and among the isolates, 6 (18.18%) were identified as possible EHEC O157 and rest of the isolates (81.82%) were considered as probable non EHEC O157. About, 3.23% (186 samples) EHEC O157 was isolated from raw milk samples. Then all the 33 isolates were taken under PCR assay for the identification of five virulent genes Stx1, Stx2, eaeA, rfbE and hlyA. No virulent genes were found in non- EHEC O157 isolates, but 4 stx2 (66.67%) and 1 hlyA (16.67%) gene were observed in another 4 EHEC O157 isolates out of 6, but one isolates contained the both genes and hence the prevalence of STEC was 2.15% in raw milk. Result indicated poor hygienic standard of raw milk from uncontrolled environments and the increased public health risk of those consuming raw milk from such uncontrolled sources.