Contrasting evolutionary histories of Escherichia coli serogroup O145 revealed with genomic epidemiology and carbon metabolism characteristics.

Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) are zoonotic pathogens residing harmlessly in the gut of bovine reservoirs, but capable of causing human disease. To manage food-related risk, seven serogroups have been declared adulterants of ground beef in the United States of America impacting food safety regulations and international trade.

In a cross-sectional study investigating the prevalence of STEC in young calves (2-21 days of age) throughout New Zealand IDReC researchers previously identified STEC O145 as the most prevalent serogroup (43%) at the dairy farm level compared with the other serogroups.

However, STEC serogroup O145 are difficult to isolate as routine diagnostic methods are unable to distinguish them due to their heterogeneous metabolic characteristics. In this study, published in PLOS ONE, Rose Collis and co-authors use genomic epidemiology and metabolic characteristics to investigate improved methods for diagnostic-based culture of STEC O145.

The study highlights the phenotypic and genotypic heterogeneity within E. coli serogroup O145, suggesting that the development of a differential media targeting this serogroup will be challenging.


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