Shiga toxin-producing E. coli isolated from sheep in Namibia

  • Oscar Madzingira Directorate of Veterinary Services, Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry Gobabis, Namibia
Keywords: STEC, sheep, Namibia

Abstract

Introduction: Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) are an important group of emerging zoonotic pathogens carried in the intestinal tracts of ruminants. They can cause mild diarrhea and fatal disease characterized by hemolytic uremic syndrome, especially in children, the elderly, and immune-compromised individuals.

Methodology: The aim of this study was to determine if sheep harbor STEC. Sheep feces (n = 40), brisket wool (n = 40), and 150 meat samples were collected from the flank (n = 35), rump (n = 35), brisket (n = 20), shank (n = 25), diaphragm (n = 10), and neck (n = 25) of slaughter-age sheep at a high-throughput abattoir and tested for STEC using a combination of culture and real-time polymerase chain reaction techniques.

Results: E. coli O103 (5/40) and O145 (5/40) strains were isolated from the feces and E. coli O157:H7 was isolated from brisket wool (10/40) and flank meat (5/35). The results of this study provide the first report of STEC infections in sheep in Namibia.

Conclusions: The results of this study show that sheep, like cattle, can shed STEC strains in their feces, which can contaminate meat and expose humans to infections.

Author Biography

Oscar Madzingira, Directorate of Veterinary Services, Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry Gobabis, Namibia

PUBLIC HEALTH VETERINARIAN

VETERINARY PUBLIC HEALTH DIVISION

Published
2016-04-28
How to Cite
1.
Madzingira O (2016) Shiga toxin-producing E. coli isolated from sheep in Namibia. J Infect Dev Ctries 10:400-403. doi: 10.3855/jidc.6903
Section
Brief Original Articles