Archivos de medicina veterinaria
Print version ISSN 0301-732X
BORIE, C. et al. Prevalence and characterization of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli isolated from healthy cattle and pigs slaughtered in Santiago, Chile. Arch. med. vet. [online]. 1997, vol.29, n.2, pp. 205-212. ISSN 0301-732X. http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0301-732X1997000200005.
As a contribution to the epidemiology of SHU in Chile, this work was focused on cattle and pigs as a possible reservoir of EHEC. This was achieved by analyzing E. coli isolates from faecal samples of healthy animals slaughtered in two abattoirs in Santiago. EHEC strains were identified by DNA hybridization with specific gene probes for Shiga-like toxin I (SLTI) and II (SLTII). Positive strains were hybridized with specific gene probes for fimbrial adhesin and eae factor, serogrouped and examined for sorbitol fermentability. Among the 136 steers and 120 pigs studied, 39 (28.7%) and 82 (68.3%) were found to carry EHEC strains, respectively. Of the 40 bovine strains that hybridized with two SLT DNA probes, 29 (72.5%) hybridized with only SLTI probe, 6 (15%) hybridized with only SLTII probe and 5 (12.5%) hybridized with both SLTI and SLTII probes. Only 6 (15%) of the 40 EHEC hybridized with fimbrial adhesin probe and 14 (35%) hybridized with eae probe. An important number of strains (14/40) belonged to serogroups O157, O26 and O111; serogroups also commonly isolated from SHU cases in Chile. One steer was found to carry two EHEC strains of different serogroups. 50% of EHEC were sorbitol positive, irrespective of the O serogroup or genotypic profile. Of the 82 pig strains, the predominant cytotoxic profile was SLTI-SLTII (68.3%); only 35 (42.7%) hybridized with fimbrial adhesin probe. An important number of strains (80/82) hybridized with eae probe. The serogroups found were: O157, O26, O111, O114, O119, O126, O127, O128, O142 and O158. Approximately 50% of EHEC strains were sorbitol positive, O157 included. Results obtained in this study strongly suggest that cattle and pigs in Chile are a reservoir of EHEC associated with diseases in humans
Keywords : enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli; cattle; pigs.