E. coli causing diarrhea is an emerging food-borne pathogen which is gram negative, rod shaped, mostly motile and some of
its sero groups has public health impact on humans by causing haemorrhagic colitis (HC) to haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). It is known that these food-borne pathogens are associated with animal reservoirs ie., ruminants and foods of animal origin, especially under cooked meat, unclean vegetables are often involved in outbreaks. In this study, a total of 200 samples, 100 from fast foods like hotdogs, burgers, chicken tikka rolls, sausages and 100 from meat shop samples like swabs from slaughter
platform, knife, water, butcher?s hands etc, were collected and processed. From the screened samples 30 isolates were identified as E. coli, by conventional biochemical methods and carbohydrate utilization tests. Out of these 30 isolates, 4 were found to be non-motile and showed mucoid and stringy colony morphology. When subjected to salt aggregation test with different concentrations of ammonium sulphate solution, most of the isolates were observed to be positive, which shows the presence of cell-surface appendages and their hydrophobicity. All the isolates showed resistance to more than one antimicrobial agent. Hemagglutination assay with human blood of different groups was carried out for all the isolates as the agglutination of erythrocyte is an indirect evidence of the presence of fimbriae and it provides a simple indirect method of testing the virulence of the organism. Pili or
fimbriae are non-flagellar filamentous bacterial surface appendages composed of hydrophobic proteins which may be responsible for the aggregation. Occurrence of E. coli in food and environment is an important health concern because of the risk of food-borne outbreaks.These isolated E. coli strains could impose threat on public health.
Pavithra M who is 27 years old is a product of VIT University, with her B.Sc (Microbiology), M.Sc (Microbiology) and persuing Ph.D (Medical
Biotechnology) with the guidance of Dr. Asit Ranjan Ghosh, (Former Scientist of ICMR), Professor and Asst, Director, Centre for Infectious Diseases and Control, SBST, VIT University. Her research is on the prevalence of E. coli causing diarrhoegenic diseases in the environment. She?ve served as a Teaching cum Research Associate (TRA) in the same University and handled Microbiology, Princilples of Genetics, Immunotechnology, Genetic Engineering and Biochemistry for B.Tech, M.Tech and M.Sc Biotechnology students. She?ve been a co-author for few papers in peer reviewed journals. She has done a project on Anti-retiro Viral Therapy and the Effect of Nutrition on HIV positive Individuals, which was highly recognized and recommended by Ramana Maharishi Rangammal Hospital, Thiruvannamalai, Tamilnadu.
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