Pathogenic potential to humans of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli isolated from wild boars in Poland.

Research paper by A A Szczerba-Turek, P P Socha, A A Bancerz-Kisiel, A A Platt-Samoraj, K K Lipczynska-Ilczuk, J J Siemionek, K K Kończyk, E E Terech-Majewska, Wojciech W Szweda

Indexed on: 18 Apr '19Published on: 17 Apr '19Published in: International Journal of Food Microbiology


The aim of the study was to investigate the presence of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in the wild boar population of north-eastern Poland, and to evaluate the potential health risk associated with wild boars carrying STEC/AE-STEC strains. In Poland, the African Swine Fever (ASF) virus has been a growing problem in domestic pigs and wild boars, one of the main reservoirs of the virus, because of this hunters, veterinary practitioners and foresters thus face a greater risk of coming into contact with animals. Rectal swabs samples were obtained from 152 wild boars hunter-harvested in the 2017/2018 season (autumn-winter) in north-eastern Poland. The samples were enrichment in modified buffered peptone water. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays were conducted to determine the virulence profile of stx1, stx2 and eae and aggR genes, identify subtypes of stx1 and stx2 genes, and perform O and H serotyping. STEC/AE-STEC virulence genes were detected in 43 isolates (28.29%): STEC in 17 isolates (11.18%) and AE-STEC in 26 isolates (17.11%), respectively. None of the tested isolates carried the aggR gene. The most dangerous AE-STEC virulence profile associated with HUS was found in 2 isolates (1.32%): stx1NS/stx2a/d/eae serotype ONT:H7 and stx2a/eae serotype O146:H7. Six of the 152 tested samples belonged to serogroup O157 (3.95%), including one AE-STEC isolate with virulence profile stx2g/eae and five EPEC isolates. The results of this study suggest that wild boars in north-eastern Poland can carry STEC/AE-STEC strains that are potentially pathogenic for humans. This is the first report documenting the virulence of STEC and AE-STEC isolates from wild boars in Poland. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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