Characterization of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli isolated from healthy pigs in China
- Equal contributors
1 State Key Laboratory for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, National Institute for Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Changping, Beijing, China
2 Collaborative Innovation Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, Hangzhou, China
3 School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
4 Biochemical and Molecular Biological Department, School of Biotechnology, Southwest University, Chongqing, China
5 Department of Microbiology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Guiyang Medical University, Guiyang, China
6 Animal Nutrition Institute, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu, China
BMC Microbiology 2014, 14:5 doi:10.1186/1471-2180-14-5Published: 6 January 2014
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is recognized as an important human diarrheal pathogen. Swine plays an important role as a carrier of this pathogen. In this study we determined the prevalence and characteristics of STEC from healthy swine collected between May 2011 and August 2012 from 3 cities/provinces in China.
A total of 1003 samples, including 326 fecal, 351 small intestinal contents and 326 colon contents samples, was analyzed. Two hundred and fifty five samples were stx-positive by PCR and 93 STEC isolates were recovered from 62 stx-positive samples. Twelve O serogroups and 19 O:H serotypes including 6 serotypes (O100:H20/[H20], O143:H38/[H38], O87:H10, O172:H30/[H30], O159:H16, O9:H30/[H30]) rarely found in swine and ruminants were identified. All 93 STEC isolates harbored stx2 only, all of which were stx2e subtype including 1 isolate being a new variant of stx2e. 53.76%, 15.05% and 2.15% STEC isolates carried astA, hlyA and ehxA respectively. Four STEC isolates harbored the high-pathogenicity island. Of the 15 adherence-associated genes tested, 13 (eae, efa1, iha, lpfAO113, lpfAO157/OI-154, lpfAO157/OI-141, toxB, saa, F4, F5, F6, F17 or F41) were all absent while 2 (paa and F18) were present in 7 and 4 STEC isolates respectively. The majority of the isolates were resistant to tetracycline (79.57%), nalidixic acid (78.49%), trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (73.12%) and kanamycin (55.91%). The STEC isolates were divided into 63 pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns and 21 sequence types (STs). Isolates of the same STs generally showed the same or similar drug resistance patterns. A higher proportion of STEC isolates from Chongqing showed multidrug resistance with one ST (ST3628) resistant to 14 antimicrobials.
Our results indicate that swine is a significant reservoir of STEC strains in China. Based on comparison by serotypes and sequence types with human strains and presence of virulence genes, the swine STEC may have a low potential to cause human disease.