A total of 359 non-O157 STEC isolates from food, humans and animals were examined for serotypes, Shiga toxin subtypes and intimin subtypes. Isolates solely harboring stx2 from the three sources were selected for Vero cell cytotoxicity test. stx subtypes in eae negative isolates were more diverse than in eae positive isolates primarily carrying stx2a. Four eae subtypes (eaeβ,eaeε1,eaeγ1 and eaeγ2/θ) were observed and correlated with serotypes and flagella. Food isolates showed more diverse serotypes, virulence factors and cell cytotoxicities than human isolates. Some isolates from produce belonged to serotypes that have been implicated in human diseases, carried stx2a or/and stx2dact and exhibited high cell cytotoxicity similar to human isolates. This indicates that foods can be contaminated with potentially pathogenic STEC isolates that may cause human diseases. Given the increased produce consumption and growing burden of foodborne outbreaks due to produce, produce safety should be given great importance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science