Submitted to: Journal of Clinical Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/4/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Cattle can carry different kinds of E. coli; some cause severe diarrhea in calves, others cause foodborne disease in humans, while others cause no disease at all. It would be beneficial if beef producers could know what type of E. coli their cattle are infected with. Currently available tests can differentiate between disease-producing and nondisease-producing E. coli, but these tests are time-consuming and expensive. We have developed a rapid, simple, gene-based test that identifies calves infected with E. coli and predicts what type of disease these E. coli are likely to cause. This assay will benefit the cattle industry, veterinarians, and diagnostic labs because the assay is able to rapidly identify calves carrying E. coli that can cause animal disease. This assay can also identify animals which carry E. coli that cause foodborne disease, such as O157:H7. Identification of these calves will benefit consumers as treatment or removal of these calves should lead to a reduction of foodborne disease due to E. coli.
Technical Abstract: A multiplex PCR was developed to identify enterotoxigenic, attaching/effacing, and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli by amplifying genes encoding K99 and F41 fimbriae, STa enterotoxin, intimin, and Shiga toxins 1 and 2. This multiplex PCR was specific and sensitive. It will be useful for identification of E. coli which cause diarrhea in calves.