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Epidemiol Infect. 2002 Aug;129(1):41-7.

Isolation and characterization of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:1H7 from cattle in Belgium and Poland.

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Department of Veterinary Food Inspection, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium.


EHEC O157 were isolated from faeces of Belgian and Polish beef slaughter cattle. In Belgium, 1281 faecal samples were analysed by immunomagnetic separation [IMS] after enrichment in buffered peptone water from June 1998 till July 1999. Eighty-one samples (6.3%) were positive for E. coli O157. Phage type 8 was most frequently found. Bulls between 1 and 2 years old, slaughtered in September and October were most frequently found positive. Atypical biochemical features were observed in some isolates: 22 (27%) isolates were urease positive and 1 (1.2%) isolate was unable to ferment lactose. In Poland, 551 faecal samples, taken from January 1999 till December 1999, were examined using exactly the same techniques. Four faecal samples (0.7%) were positive for O157 EHEC, yielding seven phage type 8 isolates. All positive samples were from cattle younger than 2 years. Positive samples occurred in August, September and October.

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