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Diversity and relatedness of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli and Campylobacter jejuni between farms in a dairy catchment

  • H. IRSHAD (a1) (a2), A. L. COOKSON (a1) (a3), C. M. ROSS (a4), P. JAROS (a1), D. J. PRATTLEY (a1), A. DONNISON (a4), G. McBRIDE (a5), J. MARSHALL (a1) and N. P. FRENCH (a1) (a6)...

The aim of this study was to examine the population structure, transmission and spatial relationship between genotypes of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and Campylobacter jejuni, on 20 dairy farms in a defined catchment. Pooled faecal samples (n = 72) obtained from 288 calves were analysed by real-time polymerase chain reaction (rtPCR) for E. coli serotypes O26, O103, O111, O145 and O157. The number of samples positive for E. coli O26 (30/72) was high compared to E. coli O103 (7/72), O145 (3/72), O157 (2/72) and O111 (0/72). Eighteen E. coli O26 and 53 C. jejuni isolates were recovered from samples by bacterial culture. E. coli O26 and C. jejuni isolates were genotyped using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and multilocus sequence typing, respectively. All E. coli O26 isolates could be divided into four clusters and the results indicated that E. coli O26 isolates recovered from calves on the same farm were more similar than isolates recovered from different farms in the catchment. There were 11 different sequence types of C. jejuni isolated from the cattle and 22 from water. An analysis of the population structure of C. jejuni isolated from cattle provided evidence of clustering of genotypes within farms, and among groups of farms separated by road boundaries.

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Corresponding author
* Author for correspondence: Dr H. Irshad, Animal Health Programme, Animal Sciences Institute, National Agricultural Research Centre, Park Road, Islamabad, Pakistan. (Email:
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