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Vet Microbiol. 2003 Apr 29;92(4):335-49.

Serotypes and Shiga toxin genotypes among Escherichia coli isolated from animals and food in Argentina and Brazil.

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Departamento de Microbiologia, Imunologia e Parasitologia, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Brazil.


Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains isolated from animals and food in Argentina (n=44) and Brazil (n=20) were examined and compared in regard to their phenotypic and genotypic characteristics to evaluate their pathogenic potential. The clonal relatedness of STEC O157 isolates (n=22) was established by phage typing (PT) and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). All O157 strains studied carried eae and enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC)-hly sequences. In Argentina, these strains occurred both in cattle and meat, and 50% of them carried stx2/stx2vh-a genes, whereas in Brazil the O157 strains were isolated from animals, and most harbored the stx2vh-a sequence. At least 13 different O:H serotypes were identified among the non-O157 strains studied, with serotype O113:H21 being found in both countries. All but one non-O157 strains did not carry eae gene, but EHEC-hlyA gene was found in 85.7% of them, and the stx2 genotype was also more prevalent in Argentina than in Brazil (P<0.01), where stx1 alone or in association was most common (68.8%). One STEC strain isolated from a calf in Brazil harbored the new variant referred to as stx2-NV206. PFGE analysis showed that STEC O157 strains were grouped in four clusters. One Brazilian strain was considered possibly related (> or =80%) to Argentinean strains of cluster I. Differences in the pathogenic potential, especially in regard to serotypes and stx genotypes, were observed among the STEC strains recovered from animals and food in both countries.

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