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Detection of stx1 and stx2 Genes in Pennsylvanian White-Tailed Deer

Southwestern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
Department of Biological Sciences, Mercyhurst College, Erie, PA 16546, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxins 2011, 3(6), 640-646;
Received: 3 May 2011 / Revised: 10 June 2011 / Accepted: 14 June 2011 / Published: 16 June 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Shiga Toxin)
Shiga toxin-producing E. coli carrying the stx1 and/or stx2 genes can cause multi-symptomatic illness in humans. A variety of terrestrial and aquatic environmental reservoirs of stx have been described. Culture based detection of microbes in deer species have found a low percentage of samples that have tested positive for Stx-producing microbes, suggesting that while deer may contain these microbes, their overall abundance in deer is low. In this study, quantitative PCR (qPCR) was utilized to test for the presence of stx genes in white-tailed deer fecal matter in western Pennsylvania. In this culture independent screening, nearly half of the samples tested positive for the stx2 gene, with a bias towards samples that were concentrated with stx2. This study, while limited in scope, suggests that deer may be a greater reservoir for stx than was previously thought. View Full-Text
Keywords: Shiga toxin; white-tailed deer; quantitative PCR Shiga toxin; white-tailed deer; quantitative PCR
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Kistler, W.M.; Mulugeta, S.; Mauro, S.A. Detection of stx1 and stx2 Genes in Pennsylvanian White-Tailed Deer. Toxins 2011, 3, 640-646.

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