Phylogenetic group distribution and prevalence of virulence genes in Escherichia coli isolates from food samples in South Korea

Hyon Ji Koo, Hyo Sun Kwak, Sang Hyeon Yoon, Gun Jo Woo

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27 Citations (Scopus)


We analyzed the distribution of phylogenetic groups of foodborne Escherichia coli isolates. We also investigated the prevalence of virulence-associated genes of diarrheagenic E. coli. In total, 162 E. coli isolated from foods (raw meat, fish, and processed foods) were collected in Korea. Approximately 90% of the foodborne isolates belonged to phylogenetic groups A and B1, whereas 1.2% were allocated to group B2, and 9.3% to D. Multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays were used to detect the following: stx1 and stx2 to identify Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), eae and bfpA to identify enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC), ipaH for enteroinvasive E. coli, CVD432 for enteroaggregative E. coli, and lt and st for enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC). The presence of daaD in diffusely adherent E. coli was examined by singleplex PCR. Of the 162 foodborne E. coli isolates, three (1.9%) were confirmed to be pathogenic E. coli: STEC, ETEC, and atypical EPEC based on their possession of stx1, st, and eae, and the pathogenic strains were isolated in beef, rockfish, and pork, respectively. Molecular typing was conducted by multilocus sequence typing to investigate the genetic relationships among the pathogenic strains. All isolates positive for virulence genes had different mulilocus sequence typing profiles representing different sequence types (ST) of ST101, ST1815, and ST1820. These results indicate that some food samples were contaminated with pathogenic E. coli.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1813-1816
Number of pages4
JournalWorld Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Apr


  • Escherichia coli
  • Foodborne pathogen
  • Phylogenetic
  • Virulence genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Physiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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