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Human E. Coli Infection Associated With Poultry

- Sep 05, 2018 -

Human E. coli infection associated with poultry

A study published this week found that E. coli strains found in retail chicken and turkey products can cause widespread infection in humans.

The study, published in the American Society of Microbiology's open access journal mBio, provides evidence that E. coli found in fresh poultry products can be transmitted to humans, leading to bladder infections and other serious diseases.

The study "Escherichia coli ST131-H22 as a food-borne Uropathogen" was led by a multi-center research team led by Lance B. Price, director of the Center for Antibiotic Resistance Action (ARAC) at George Washington University. It indicates the presence of multiple E. coli strains. ST131 and especially a pathogen can be delivered to humans through contaminated poultry.

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Poultry products have not been routinely tested for E. coli strains that cause urinary tract infections, but the results highlight the importance of thoroughly cooking poultry and carefully handling poultry in the kitchen. Photo: Wikimedia

Professor Price and his colleagues conducted a one-year longitudinal study that analyzed retail chicken, turkey and pork purchased from each major grocery chain in Flagstaff, Arizona. In the same year, the team also collected and analyzed the urine and blood isolates of patients seen at the Flagstaff Medical Center (the only major hospital in the town).

About 80% of meat samples contain E. coli

The team found nearly 80% of E. coli in 2452 meat samples and E. coli in 72% of urine and blood cultures. E. coli ST131 is the most common type of infected population and is also present in meat samples.

Then they studied the close relationship between these bacteria, or, more importantly, whether people got them from poultry.

Therefore, they studied the genome of E. coli cells and found that E. coli ST131 in almost all poultry products belonged to a specific strain called ST131-H22 with a gene that helps E. coli in birds. It has also been found that this strain adapted to poultry can also cause urinary tract infections.

E. coli from poultry to human

Price is also a professor of environmental and occupational health at the Milken Institute SPH. He said: "In the past, we can say that E. coli in humans and poultry is interrelated, but through this research, we can do more. I confidently say E. coli from poultry to people and vice versa."

Poultry products have not been routinely tested for E. coli strains that cause urinary tract infections, but the results highlight the importance of thoroughly cooking poultry and carefully handling poultry in the kitchen.

Cindy Liu, ARAC's chief medical officer, added: "This particular strain of E. coli seems to be able to multiply in poultry and cause disease in humans. Poultry products may be important carriers of bacteria that cause diseases other than diarrhea.

"We are now working to measure the proportion of UTI that may be caused by food-borne E. coli by observing all E. coli strains, not just ST131," she added.

So when we feed the poultry and livestock,its necessary for us to use some feed additives like Acidifier and yeast hydrolysate to inhibit the growth of E. coli.

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