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Keywords:

  • E. coli O157:H7;
  • PCR;
  • Shiga toxins;
  • enterohaemolysin;
  • intimin;
  • water buffalo

Summary

The aim of this study was to detect Shiga toxins (stx1 and stx2), enterohaemolysin (EhlyA) and intimin (eaeA) virulence genes of 11 Escherichia coli O157:H7 strains isolated from faecal samples of 300 clinically healthy Anatolian water buffaloes by PCR. Multiplex PCR was used for the detection of stx1 and stx2, and singleplex PCRs were used for the detection of EhlyA and eaeA virulence genes respectively. A total of three (27.3%) strains were determined to harbour both of the stx1 and stx2 genes, of these, one (9.1%) only harboured these two genes alone, one (9.1%) also contained the EhlyA gene and one (9.1%) additionally contained the EhlyA and the eaeA genes. EhlyA gene was obtained from eight (72.7%) strains, six (54.5%) of these were alone. eaeA gene was positive in only one (9.1%) strain. Only one (9.1%) of the 11 E. coli O157:H7 strains harboured all the four virulence genes. Two (18.2%) of the isolates had none of the virulence genes. Enterohaemolysin was found to be the most common virulence factor. In conclusion, the virulence factors of E. coli O157:H7 strains isolated from the faeces of Anatolian water buffaloes were investigated and detected for the first time in Turkey.