Prevalence and classification of pathogenic Escherichia coli isolated from fresh beef, poultry, and pork in Korea

Gi Yun Lee, Hye In Jang, In Gyun Hwang, Min Suk Rhee

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110 Citations (Scopus)


Foodborne diseases occur worldwide, including through the consumption of contaminated meat. This study was conducted to investigate the prevalence of Escherichia coli contamination in fresh beef, poultry, and pork, and to determine whether any isolated E. coli possessed genes associated with pathogenicity. Three thousand meat samples were collected from 2004 to 2006 and were tested for the presence of E. coli. Two hundred and seventy-three E. coli isolates were obtained from beef, poultry, and pork, resulting in an overall isolation rate of 9.1%. Of these isolates, 201 were obtained from 1350 pork samples (14.9%), followed by 41 of 900 poultry samples (4.6%) and 31 of 750 beef samples (4.1%). A total of 39 pathogenic E. coli isolates from the three meat types were categorized into three virulence groups, namely enterotoxigenic E. coli (43.6%), enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) (35.9%; 22.6% of beef, 7.3% of poultry, and 2.0% of pork), and enteropathogenic E. coli (20.5%). Fourteen strains were identified as belonging to the EHEC, which included O18, O136, O119, O86, O8, O111, O15, O128, and O6. This study demonstrated that pathogenic E. coli are found in meat in Korea, and could act as a transmission vehicle for human infection as suggested by the occurrence and classification of pathogenic E. coli in retail meats. Furthermore, the data from this study could be used in the risk assessment of foodborne illnesses linked to meat consumption. Crown

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-200
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Food Microbiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Sept 15


  • Escherichia coli
  • Fresh meat
  • Multiplex PCR
  • O-serogroup
  • Prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology


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