The safety level of microwaved foods remains at vague as this subject was less addressed
scientifically. A study was initiated to address the matter by investigating on the
survivability of Salmonella and Shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC) O157 in
microwave heated ready-to-eat (RTE) foods using the Most Probable Number coupled
Polymerase Chain Reaction (MPN-PCR) technique. A total of 329 samples of various
ready-to-eat (RTE) convenience meals were collected around Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala
Lumpur and Selangor regions. Salmonella was positively identified in 66 samples (20.1%,
Postweaning diarrhea caused by pathogenic Escherichia coli, in particular verotoxigenic E. coli (VTEC), has caused significant economic losses in the pig farming industry worldwide. However, there is limited information on VTEC in Malaysia. The objective of this study was to characterize pathogenic E. coli isolated from post-weaning piglets and growers with respect to their antibiograms, carriage of extended-spectrum beta-lactamases, pathotypes, production of hemolysins and fimbrial adhesins, serotypes, and genotypes.
This study aimed at determining the presence and characterization of Escherichia coli and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) from imported frozen beef meats. Seventy-four (74) frozen imported beef meat samples from two countries, India (42 samples) and Australia (32 samples), were collected and tested for E. coli. These samples were purchased from the frozen meat sections of five different supermarkets in different locations in Selangor, Malaysia, from April 2012 to October 2014. A total of 222 E. coli strains were isolated from the meat samples; 126 strains were isolated from country A (India), and 96 E. coli strains were from country of origin B (Australia), respectively. A total of 70 E. coli strains were identified and characterized. All E. coli strains were isolated into Fluorocult medium and identified using API 20E kit. All selected E. coli strains were characterized for Shiga toxin genes (stx1 and stx2). All biochemically identified E. coli in this study were further subjected to molecular detection through polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification and characterization using 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli. Of the 70 E. coli strains, 11 strains were positive for both Shiga toxin genes (stx1 and stx2) and 11 (11/70) strains were positive for stx1 gene, while 25 (25/70) strains were positive for stx2 gene. The analysis of 16S rRNA gene of all the E. coli isolates in this study was successfully sequenced and analyzed, and based on sequence data obtained, a phylogenetic tree of the 16S rRNA gene was performed using Clustal W programme in MEGA 6.06 software. Phylogenetic tree showed that the E. coli isolates in our study cluster with the strain of E. coli isolated in other countries, which further confirm that the isolates of E. coli in this study are similar to those obtained in other studies. As a result, all the strains obtained in this study proved to be a strain of pathogenic E. coli, which may cause a serious outbreak of food-borne disease. The isolation of pathogenic E. coli strains from the imported meat samples calls for prudent management of imported meats by the relevant authorities.
We have successfully developed a Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay that could specifically detect generic Escherichia coli (E. coli). This assay was tested on 85 bacterial strains and successfully identified 54 E. coli strains (average threshold time, Tt = 21.26). The sensitivity of this assay was evaluated on serial dilutions of bacterial cultures and spiked faeces. The assay could detect 10(2) CFU/mL for bacterial culture with Tt = 33.30 while the detection limit for spiked faeces was 10(3) CFU/mL (Tt = 31.12). We have also detected 46 generic E. coli from 50 faecal samples obtained from indigenous individuals with 16% of the positive samples being verocytotoxin-producing E. coli (VTEC) positive. VT1/VT2 allele was present in one faecal sample while the ratio of VT1 to VT2 was 6 : 1. Overall, our study had demonstrated high risk of VTEC infection among the indigenous community and most of the asymptomatic infection occurred among those aged below 15 years. The role of asymptomatic human carriers as a source of dissemination should not be underestimated. Large scale screening of the VTEC infection among indigenous populations and the potential contamination sources will be possible and easy with the aid of this newly developed rapid and simple LAMP assay.
Foodborne diseases are mainly caused by bacterial contamination which can lead to severe diarrhea. This study aimed to detect the presence of Shiga toxin-Producing Escherichia coli O157, Escherichia coli non-O157 and virulence gene in raw vegetables. The samples were purchased from wet market and hypermarket in Selangor. The detections were carried out by using the combination methods of Most Probable Number-Polymerase Chain Reaction (MPNPCR). A total of 37(18.5%) samples were found to be contaminated by STEC. Out of these 37 isolates, four (10.8%) of the isolates were E. coli O157 while 33(89.2%) were E. coli nonO157. However, there was no E. coli O157:H7 detected in all the samples. The occurrence of Shiga toxin-Producing E. coli in edible raw vegetables samples suggests the importance of this pathogen in vegetables. Therefore, more studies are required to remove this pathogen from vegetables.