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Microorganisms. 2018 Dec 6;6(4). pii: E126. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms6040126.

Presence of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in Fresh Beef Marketed in 13 Regions of ITALY (2017).

Author information

1
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Lazio e Toscana, "M. Aleandri", 00178 Rome, Italy. biancamaria.varcasia@izslt.it.
2
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Lazio e Toscana, "M. Aleandri", 00178 Rome, Italy. francesco.tomassetti@izslt.it.
3
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Lazio e Toscana, "M. Aleandri", 00178 Rome, Italy. laura.desantis@izslt.it.
4
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Lazio e Toscana, "M. Aleandri", 00178 Rome, Italy. fabiola.digiamberardino@izslt.it.
5
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Lazio e Toscana, "M. Aleandri", 00178 Rome, Italy. sarah.lovari@izslt.it.
6
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Lazio e Toscana, "M. Aleandri", 00178 Rome, Italy. stefano.bilei@izslt.it.
7
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Lazio e Toscana, "M. Aleandri", 00178 Rome, Italy. paola.desantis@izslt.it.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in fresh beef marketed in 2017 in 13 regions of Italy, to evaluate the potential risk to human health. According to the ISO/TS 13136:2012 standard, 239 samples were analysed and nine were STEC positive, from which 20 strains were isolated. The STEC-positive samples were obtained from Calabria (n = 1), Campania (n = 1), Lazio (n = 2), Liguria (n = 1), Lombardia (n = 1) and Veneto (n = 3). All STEC strains were analysed for serogroups O26, O45, O55, O91, O103, O104, O111, O113, O121, O128, O145, O146 and O157, using Real-Time PCR. Three serogroups were identified amongst the 20 strains: O91 (n = 5), O113 (n = 2), and O157 (n = 1); the O-group for each of the 12 remaining STEC strains was not identified. Six stx subtypes were detected: stx1a, stx1c, stx2a, stx2b, stx2c and stx2d. Subtype stx2c was the most common, followed by stx2d and stx2b. Subtype stx2a was identified in only one eae-negative strain and occurred in combination with stx1a, stx1c and stx2b. The presence in meat of STEC strains being potentially harmful to human health shows the importance, during harvest, of implementing additional measures to reduce contamination risk.

KEYWORDS:

Escherichia coli (STEC); beef; serogroups; stx-genes; stx-subtypes

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