Original Research

Molecular analysis of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 and non-O157 strains isolated from calves

Maryam Kohansal, Ali Ghanbari Asad
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 85, No 1 | a1621 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v85i1.1621 | © 2018 Maryam Kohansal, Ali Ghanbari Asad | This work is licensed under CC Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0
Submitted: 27 February 2018 | Published: 17 October 2018

About the author(s)

Maryam Kohansal, Department of Medical Biotechnology, Fasa University of Medical Science, Iran; and, Department of Biology, Payame Noor University (PNU), Iran, Islamic Republic of
Ali Ghanbari Asad, Department of Biology, Payame Noor University (PNU), Iran, Islamic Republic of

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Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157 and non-O157 are food-borne pathogens and contaminants of foods of animal origin. This study was conducted to investigate the presence of virulence and integrase genes in STEC isolates from diarrhoeic calves in Fars Province, Iran. Five hundred and forty diarrheic neonatal calves were randomly selected for sampling. Rectal swabs were collected and cultured for isolation and identification of E. coli following standard methods. The isolates were analysed for the presence of class 1 integrons and bacterial virulence factors using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed using the Kirby–Bauer disc diffusion method. Out of 540 diarrhoeic faecal samples, 312 (57.7%) harboured E. coli and 71 (22.7%) of them were identified as STEC: 41(69.5%) carried the stx2 gene, 21 (35.6%) carried the stx1 gene and 3 (5%) carried both. Twenty-six (44%) of the isolates showed the eaegene. Among the STEC isolates examined for susceptibility to eight antimicrobial agents, erythromycin and penicillin (96.8%) resistance were most commonly observed, followed by resistances to ampicillin (71.8%), tetracycline (62.5%) and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (39%). Integrons were detected by PCR in 36% of the STEC tested isolates, 57 (89%) of which showed resistance to at least three antimicrobial agents. Our findings should raise awareness about antibiotic resistance in diarrhoeic calves in Fars Province, Iran. Class 1 integrons facilitate the emergence and dissemination of multidrug-resistance (MDR) among STEC strains recovered from food animals.


shiga toxin-producing escherichia col; integron; virulence factors


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