Racing, ornamental and city pigeons carry shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) with different Shiga toxin subtypes, urging further analysis of their epidemiological role in the spread of STEC.
ABSTRACT Pigeons are known to shed zoonotic pathogens. Therefore, in this study a total of 366 droppings from pigeons were analysed using PCR and DNA-DNA-hybridization for Shiga toxin producing E. coli (STEC). Specimens were collected from three different groups of pigeons: 247 collective and 3 individual droppings from racing pigeons, 26 collective and 40 individual from ornamental pigeons as well as 50 collective droppings from city pigeons. Initial screening experiments revealed a total 245 (66.9%) droppings to be Shiga toxin gene positive. Of these 36% were positive for stx1, 9% for stx2 and 37% for stx2f. Prevalence significantly (p < 0.001) differed in regard to the pigeon groups examined. Droppings from racing pigeons showed prevalence of 45.6% for stx1, 3.2% for stx2, and 33.2% for stx2f, while the distribution of stx-positive specimens was more even in ornamental pigeons (15% stx1, 27% stx2, and 26% stx2f). In specimens from city pigeons, stx2f was found to be most prevalent with 76% (2% stx1, 16% stx2). In 161 samples, stx genes were detected by PCR as well as DNA-DNA-hybridization. From these 161 samples, 20 were randomly chosen for isolation of STEC. A total of 27 STEC strains were isolated from 13 of these 20 samples. Six of the STEC were positive for stx1, 21 harbored stx2f. Further typing for virulence factor genes revealed the existence of eae in 4 of the 6 stx1-positive strains, as well as in 19 of the 21 stx2f-positive strains. eae is known to be crucially involved in the ability of E. coli strains to cause the "attaching and effacing" lesion in the gut, while stx2fSTEC are assumed to be host specific for pigeons. Here we report the first description of stx1- and eae-positive STEC strains in pigeons from Germany, especially in racing and ornamental pigeons. Taking into account the close contact between fanciers and pigeons, these findings warrant a more critical appraisal of these zoonotic pathogens in pigeons.
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ABSTRACT: Shiga toxin 2f-producing Escherichia coli (O115:HNM) with eae was isolated from a symptomatic patient in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. The patient was a 23-year-old male and his symptoms were diarrhea, abdominal pain, headaches and a fever (37.7 degrees C). He had eaten raw chicken meat, raw chicken eggs, cooked chicken meat and raw vegetables about 13 h prior to the onset of the symptoms. The patient's specimen was examined, and no diarrheagenic agents were detected except for Shiga toxin 2f-producing E. coli (STEC(2f)) with eae. This is the first report of the serotype O115:HNM possessing stx(2f). We discuss the necessity of routinely using stx(2f)-detecting PCR primers for detection of this enteric pathogen.Japanese journal of infectious diseases 08/2009; 62(4):315-7. · 1.51 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains are responsible for outbreaks of human intestinal diseases worldwide. Pigeons are distributed in public areas and are potential reservoirs for pathogenic bacteria. One hundred fifty-four fresh fecal samples were obtained from trapped pigeons in southeast of Iran and were cultured for isolation of E. coli. The isolates were examined to determine the prevalence of stx1, stx2, and eae genes, antimicrobial resistance, and their phylotypes. The confirmed E. coli isolates (138) belong to four phylogenetic groups: A (54.34%), B1 (34.05%), B2 (3.62%), and D (7.79%). Thirteen (9.42%) isolates were positive for one of the examined genes. Eight isolates (5.79%) were positive for eae, four (2.89%) for stx2, and one isolate (1.44%) for stx1 gene. Phylotyping assays showed that eight eae-positive isolates fall into three phylogroups; A (three isolates), B1 (three isolates), and D (two isolates), whereas four stx2-positive isolates belonged to the A (three isolates) and D (one isolate) groups. The stx1-positive isolate belonged to phylogroup A. One hundred six isolates (76.81%) showed resistance to at least one of the selected antibacterial agents. The maximum resistance rate was against oxytetracycline (73.91%), and the minimum was against flumequine (2.17%). Twenty different patterns of drug resistance were observed. According to the results, pigeons could be considered as carriers of STEC strains. However, E. coli isolates of pigeon feces increase the potential of these birds to act as a reservoir of multiple antibiotic resistant bacteria.Tropical Animal Health and Production 11/2011; 44(2):307-12. · 1.09 Impact Factor