Saturday, 3 February 2018

Occurrence and quantification of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli from food matrices

Research (Published online: 03-02-2018)
2. Occurrence and quantification of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli from food matrices
C. Sethulekshmi, C. Latha and C. J. Anu
Veterinary World, 11(2): 104-111
Aim: The objective of the study was to detect Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and develop a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay to quantify the bacterial DNA present in different food matrices.
Materials and Methods: A total of 758 samples were collected during a period from January 2015 to December 2016 from Kozhikode, Thrissur, and Alappuzha districts of Kerala. The samples consisted of raw milk (135), pasteurized milk (100), beef (132), buffalo meat (130), chevon (104), beef kheema (115), and beef sausage (42). All the samples collected were subjected to isolation and identification of STEC by conventional culture technique. Confirmation of virulence genes was carried out using PCR. For the quantification of STEC in different food matrices, a qPCR was standardized against stx1 gene of STEC by the construction of standard curve using SYBR green chemistry.
Results: The overall occurrence of STEC in raw milk (n=135), beef (n=132), buffalo meat (n=130), chevon (n=104), and beef kheema (n=115) samples collected from Kozhikode, Thrissur, and Alappuzha districts of Kerala was 19.26%, 41.6%, 16.92%, 28.85%, and 41.74%, respectively. PCR revealed the presence of stx1 and stx2 genes in 88.46 and 83.64 and 30.77 and 40.00% of STEC isolates from raw milk and beef samples, respectively, while 100% of the STEC isolates from buffalo beef and beef kheema samples carried stx1 gene. Real-time qPCR assay was used to quantify the bacterial cells present in different food matrices. The standard curve was developed, and the slopes, intercept, and R2 of linear regression curves were -3.10, 34.24, and 0.99, respectively.
Conclusion: The considerably high occurrence of STEC in the study confirms the importance of foods of animal origin as a vehicle of infection to humans. In the present study, on comparing the overall occurrence of STEC, the highest percentage of occurrence was reported in beef kheema samples. The study shows the need for rigid food safety measures to combat the potential pathogenic effects of harmful bacteria throughout the production chain from production to consumption.
Keywords: food matrices, occurrence, polymerase chain reaction, real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction, Shiga toxigenic Escherichia coli.

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