Core Genome Sequencing Analysis of E. coli O157:H7 Unravelling Genetic Relatedness among Strains from Cattle, Beef, and Humans in Bishoftu, Ethiopia

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E. coli O157:H7 is a known Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), causing foodborne disease globally. Cattle are the main reservoir and consumption of beef and beef products contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 is an important source of STEC infections in humans. To emphasize the cattle-to-human transmission through the consumption of contaminated beef in Bishoftu, Ethiopia, whole-genome sequencing (WGS) was performed on E. coli O157 strains isolated from three sources (cattle, beef, and humans). Forty-four E. coli O157:H7 isolates originating from 23 cattle rectal contents, three cattle hides, five beef carcasses, seven beef cuts at retail shops, and six human stools in Bishoftu between June 2017 and May 2019 were included. This study identified six clusters of closely related E. coli O157:H7 isolates based on core genome multilocus sequence typing (cgMLST) by targeting 2513 loci. A genetic linkage was observed among the isolate genomes from the cattle rectal contents, cattle hides, beef carcasses at slaughterhouses, beef at retail shops, and human stool within a time frame of 20 months. All the strains carried practically the same repertoire of virulence genes except for the stx2 gene, which was present in all but eight of the closely related isolates. All the strains carried the mdfA gene, encoding for the MdfA multi-drug efflux pump. CgMLST analysis revealed genetically linked E. coli O157:H7 isolates circulating in the area, with a potential transmission from cattle to humans through the consumption of contaminated beef and beef products.
Keywords: E. coli O157:H7; whole-genome sequencing; cgMLST; transmission; virulence genes; antimicrobial resistance
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)148-160
Aantal pagina's13
TijdschriftMicrobiology research
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
StatusPublished - mrt 2023

Bibliografische nota

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the scientists and technicians of the Brussels Interuniversity Genomics High Throughput core (BRIGHTcore; funded by the VUB grant OZR2434, ULB and « the Foundation against Cancer » grant 2016-021, UZ Brussel and Hôpital Erasme; ). Mention of trade names or commercial products in this publication is solely to provide specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Funding Information:
Previous research was supported by Addis Ababa University and Ghent University under the Special Research Fund (BOF) program for developing countries (Scholarship code 01 W03916) [18,19]. The WGS research received no external funding.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.

Copyright 2023 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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