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Poult Sci. 2013 May;92(5):1305-13. doi: 10.3382/ps.2012-02542.

Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli isolated from chicken meat in Iran: serogroups, virulence factors, and antimicrobial resistance properties.

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College of Veterinary Medicine, Shahrekord Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shahrekord, Iran.


The aim of the current study was to determine the virulence factors, serogroups, and antibiotic resistance properties of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli isolated from chicken meat samples. A total of 422 chicken meat samples were collected from 5 townships of Iran. Specimens were immediately transferred to the laboratory in a cooler with an ice pack. Samples were cultured, and the positive culture samples were analyzed by PCR assays. Finally, the antimicrobial susceptibility test was performed using the disk diffusion method in Mueller-Hinton agar. According to the results, out of 422 samples, 146 (34.59%) were confirmed to be E. coli positive and among E. coli-positive samples, 51 (34.93%) and 31 (21.23%) were from attaching and effacing E. coli (AEEC) and enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) subgroups, respectively. All of the EHEC-positive samples had all stx1, eaeA, and ehly virulence genes, whereas only 5 (9.80%) of AEEC subgroup had all stx1, stx2, and eaeA genes. As the data revealed, O157 was the most prevalent and O111 was the least prevalent strains in the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) population. Among STEC strains, sulI and blaSHV had the highest and lowest incidence rate, respectively. There was a high resistance to tetracycline (76.82%), followed by chloramphenicol (73.17%) and nitrofurantoin (63.41%), but there was low resistance to cephalotine (7.31%) antibiotics in isolated strains. Results shows that the PCR technique has a high performance for detection of serogroups, virulence genes, and antibiotic resistance genes in STEC strains. This study is the first prevalence report of detection of virulence genes, serogroups, and antibiotic resistance properties of STEC strains isolated from chicken meat samples in Iran. Based on the results, chicken meat is one of the main sources of STEC strains and its virulence factors in Iran, so an accurate meat inspection would reduce disease outbreaks.

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