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The purpose of this work was to identify and genetically characterize enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) and enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) O80:H2 from diarrhoeic and septicaemic calves in Belgium and to comparing them with human EHEC after whole genome sequencing. Ten EHEC and 21 EPEC O80 identified by PCR between 2009 and 2018 from faeces, intestinal content and a kidney of diarrhoeic or septicaemic calves were genome sequenced and compared to 19 human EHEC identified between 2008 and 2019. They all belonged to the O80:H2 serotype and ST301, harboured the eaeξ gene, and 23 of the 29 EHEC contained the stx2d gene. Phylogenetically, they were distributed in two major sub-lineages: one comprised a majority of bovine EPEC whereas the second one comprised a majority of stx2d bovine and human EHEC. Not only EPEC but also EHEC O80:H2 are present in diarrhoeic and septicaemic calves in Belgium and are genetically related to human EHEC. These findings support the need to assess cattle as potential source of contamination of humans by EHEC O80:H2 and to understand the evolution of bovine and human EHEC and EPEC O80:H2. © 2020 The Society for Applied Microbiology.


A Habets, F Crombé, K Nakamura, V Guérin, K De Rauw, D Piérard, M Saulmont, T Hayashi, J G Mainil, D Thiry. Genetic characterization of Shigatoxigenic and enteropathogenic Escherichia coli O80:H2 from diarrhoeic and septicaemic calves and relatedness to human Shigatoxigenic E. coli O80:H2. Journal of applied microbiology. 2021 Jan;130(1):258-264

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PMID: 32599678

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