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Article

High Occurrence of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli in Raw Meat-Based Diets for Companion Animals—A Public Health Issue

Institute for Food Safety and Hygiene, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, 8057 Zürich, Switzerland
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Academic Editors: Tim A. McAllister, Flemming Scheutz, Linda Chui, Chad R. Laing, Nicole Van De Kar, Kim Stanford and Patricia Griffin
Microorganisms 2021, 9(8), 1556; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9081556
Received: 2 July 2021 / Revised: 15 July 2021 / Accepted: 17 July 2021 / Published: 21 July 2021
Feeding pets raw meat-based diets (RMBDs) is becoming increasingly popular but comes with a risk of pathogenic bacteria, including Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). In humans, STEC may cause gastrointestinal illnesses, including diarrhea, hemorrhagic colitis (HC), and the hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The aim of this study was to evaluate commercially available RMBDs with regard to the occurrence of STEC. Of 59 RMBD samples, 59% tested positive by real-time PCR for the presence of Shiga toxin genes stx1 and/or stx2. STECs were recovered from 41% of the 59 samples, and strains were subjected to serotyping and virulence gene profiling, using whole genome sequencing (WGS)-based methods. Of 28 strains, 29% carried stx2a or stx2d, which are linked to STEC with high pathogenic potential. Twenty different serotypes were identified, including STEC O26:H11, O91:H10, O91:H14, O145:H28, O146:H21, and O146:H28, which are within the most common non-O157 serogroups associated with human STEC-related illnesses worldwide. Considering the low infectious dose and potential severity of disease manifestations, the high occurrence of STEC in RMBDs poses an important health risk for persons handling raw pet food and persons with close contact to pets fed on RMBDs, and is of concern in the field of public health. View Full-Text
Keywords: raw meat; pet food; dogs; Shiga toxin; Escherichia coli; public health raw meat; pet food; dogs; Shiga toxin; Escherichia coli; public health
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MDPI and ACS Style

Treier, A.; Stephan, R.; Stevens, M.J.A.; Cernela, N.; Nüesch-Inderbinen, M. High Occurrence of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli in Raw Meat-Based Diets for Companion Animals—A Public Health Issue. Microorganisms 2021, 9, 1556. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9081556

AMA Style

Treier A, Stephan R, Stevens MJA, Cernela N, Nüesch-Inderbinen M. High Occurrence of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli in Raw Meat-Based Diets for Companion Animals—A Public Health Issue. Microorganisms. 2021; 9(8):1556. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9081556

Chicago/Turabian Style

Treier, Andrea, Roger Stephan, Marc J.A. Stevens, Nicole Cernela, and Magdalena Nüesch-Inderbinen. 2021. "High Occurrence of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli in Raw Meat-Based Diets for Companion Animals—A Public Health Issue" Microorganisms 9, no. 8: 1556. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9081556

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