Author(s): Zweifel C, Kaufmann M, Blanco J, Stephan R
Abstract Share this page
Abstract The importance of latent zoonoses has increased in recent years in view of foodborne diseases: (i) the "healthy" animal repesents a reservoir for specific pathogens; () no pathological-anatomical changes in the carcass and its organs show the presence of these pathogens; and (iii) these pathogens may enter the food chain via hygienic weak points in the slaughtering process. To estimate the risks involved and to take appropriate measures, analysis of the slaughtering process should be complemented by collecting data relating to the carriage of the animals of latent zoonotic pathogens. From October 2004 to June 2005, fecal samples from 630 slaughtered sheep were enriched and then examied by IMS technique and by PCR to assess the prevalence of E. coli O157 (OE). Seven samples (1.1\%), distributed throughout the whole examination period, were found to be positive. To assess the potential pathogenicity for humans, E. coli O157 strains were isolated by colony hybridization and further characterized. The isolated strains fermented Sorbitol, showed four different H tys (H7, H12, H38, H48), and were all negative for stx. One O157:H7 strain harbored the gene for intimin (eae) in combination with ehxA, and paa. In consequence, the potential health hazard from sheep meat related to O157 STEC seems current not to be of particular importance in Switzerland. Results emphasize the fact that E. coli O157 are not always STEC but may belong to other pathotypes as nontraditional EPEC.
This article was published in Schweiz Arch Tierheilkd
and referenced in Journal of Tropical Diseases & Public Health