With changes in livestock management practices and food processing industry, along with changes in people's food habits, many diseases have emerged. Infection with verotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) is one such illness. In the present study an attempt was made to isolate, identify and characterize VTEC strains with reference to the 0157:H7 serotype from animal, human sources and some food products with the aid of the available modern methods. A total of 876 samples (330 animal, 184 human, 362 food samples) were screened for the presence of VTEC by conventional as well as PCR technique. Seventeen VTEC strains (12 animal, one human and four food samples) were isolated. The isolation rate was higher in diarrhoeic animals (6.02%), followed by diarrhoeic handler (3.12%) and raw beef (1.78%) samples. All strains showed the presence of the VT gene by PCR tests and were uniformly sensitive to common antibiotics except tetracycline, cephalexin, dicloxacillin, erythromycin and lincomycin. Since all strains were isolated from various sources of animal and human origin and all strains showed the presence of the VT gene and uniform antibiogram, a zoonotic association is suggested. This study marks the first report of isolation of VTEC strains from animal sources in India.
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Document Type: Technical Note
All India Institute of Hygiene & Public Health, Government of India, 110, Chittaranjan Avenue, Calcutta – 700 073, India
National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Indian Council of Medical Research, Beliaghata, Calcutta, India
March 1, 2001
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