Genetic diversity of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157 : H7 recovered from human and food sources.Microbiology (Reading). 2015 Jan; 161(Pt 1):112-119.M
The aim of this study was to identify an epidemiological association between Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157 : H7 strains associated with human infection and with food sources. Frequency distributions of different genetic markers of E. coli O157 : H7 strains recovered from human and food sources were compared using molecular assays to identify E. coli O157 : H7 genotypes associated with variation in pathogenic potential and host specificity. Genotypic characterization included: lineage-specific polymorphism assay (LSPA-6), clade typing, tir (A255T) polymorphism, Shiga toxin-encoding bacteriophage insertion site analysis and variant analysis of Shiga toxin 2 gene (stx2a and stx2c) and antiterminator Q genes (Q933 and Q21). The intermediate lineage (LI/II) dominated among both food and human strains. Compared to other clades, clades 7 and 8 were more frequent among food and human strains, respectively. The tir (255T) polymorphism occurred more frequently among human strains than food strains. Q21 and Q933 + Q21 were found at significantly higher frequencies among food and human strains, respectively. Moreover, stx2a and stx2a+c were detected at significantly higher frequencies among human strains compared to food strains. Bivariate analysis revealed significant concordance (P<0.05) between the LSPA-6 assay and the other typing methods. Multivariable regression analysis suggested that tir (255T) was the most distinctive genotype that can be used to detect bacterial clones with potential risk for human illness from food sources. This study supported previous reports of the existence of diversity in genetic markers among different isolation sources by including E. coli O157 : H7 strains from both food and human sources. This might enable tracking genotypes with potential risk for human illness from food sources.