Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

Escherichia coli in Chicken Carcasses in Southern Brazil: Absence of Shigatoxigenic (STEC) and Isolation of Atypical Enteropathogenic (aEPEC)

Cerutti, M. FVieira, T. RZenato, K. SWerlang, G. OPissetti, CCardoso, M

The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (aEPEC) in frozen chicken carcasses sold at stores in southern Brazil. Typical E. coli colonies were enumerated in 246 chicken carcasses, and the presence of stx1, stx2, eae genes was investigated in their rinse liquid and in E. coli strains isolated from those carcasses. Strains of E. coli were also investigated for the presence of bfp gene. A median of 0.6 cfu.g-1(ranging from 0.1 to 242.7 cfu.g-1) of typical E. coli colonies was found in the carcasses. Shiga toxin-encoding genes (stx1 and stx2) were not detected, indicating that the chicken carcasses were negative for STEC. The intimin protein gene (eae) was detected in E.coli isolated from 4.88% of the carcasses; all tested strains were negative for the bfp gene and were classified as aEPEC. Twenty-two aEPEC strains were tested for resistance to ten antimicrobials and subjected to macrorestriction (PFGE). All the tested aEPEC strains were fully susceptible to cephalosporins, ciprofloxacin and colistin. Resistance to sulfonamide (65%), ampicillin (55%), tetracycline (50%) and gentamicin (45%) were the most frequent. The PFGE profile demonstrated a low level of similarity among the resistant strains, indicating that they were epidemiologically unrelated. The results indicate that aEPEC strains can contaminate chicken meat, and their association with strains implicated in human diarrhea needs to be further investigated.(AU)

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