PREVALENCE AND CHARACTERIZATION OF SHIGATOXIGENIC ESCHERICHIA COLI IN BROILER BIRDS IN MYMENSINGH
Shigatoxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC) are major food-borne pathogens. They transmit to human through contaminated meat and meat products of animals and poultry, and frequently associated with various types of human illness including haemolytic uremic syndrome. This preliminary study showed the prevalence of STEC in 60 cloacal swab samples of live healthy broiler chickens collected randomly when sold at a wholesale market in Mymensingh district of Bangladesh. Isolation and identification of E. coli was carried out using Eosin Methylene Blue (EMB) agar media and 16S rRNA gene specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Among the 60 samples, 49 (81.67%) were found positive to E. coli. These E. coli isolates were screened for the detection of STEC by PCR using stx1 and stx2 gene specific primers. Among the 49 positive samples, 5 (10.20%) were found positive for stx1 gene, and 26 (53.06%) were positive for stx2 gene. In addition, 6 (12.24%) isolates were found positive to both stx1 and stx2 genes, and the remaining 12 (22.46%) were negative. The high prevalence ofSTEC in the broiler chicken alarms the public health impact as the people are always in close contact with these live broiler chickens in the open market as well as processing of meat at home before cooking. However, further studies are required to uncover the major source(s) for the transmission of STEC to human in ruralBangladesh.