Genetic characterization of atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) strains isolated from ewes’ milk, sheep farms environment and humans by multilocus sequence typing and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis
Área de conocimiento
Datos de la obra
Applied and environmental microbiology, vol. 79, n. 19
American society for microbiology
A collection of 81 isolates of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) was obtained from samples of bulk tank sheep milk (62 isolates), ovine feces (4 isolates), sheep farm environment (water, 4 isolates; air, 1 isolate), and human stool samples (9 isolates). The strains were considered atypical EPEC organisms, carrying the eae gene without harboring the pEAF plasmid. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) was carried out with seven housekeeping genes and 19 sequence types (ST) were detected, with none of them having been previously reported for atypical EPEC. The most frequent ST included 41 strains isolated from milk and human stool samples. Genetic typing by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) resulted in 57 patterns which grouped in 24 clusters. Comparison of strains isolated from the different samples showed phylogenetic relationships between milk and human isolates and also between milk and water isolates. The results obtained show a possible risk for humans due to the presence of atypical EPEC in ewes’ milk and suggest a transmission route for this emerging pathogen through contaminated water.