Ice as a vehicle for diarrheagenic Escherichia coli
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In a recent study of the microbiological quality of commercial ice, 50 Escherichia coli isolates belonging to different serotypes were found. The potential hazard from these isolates was examined by testing their adherence patterns ill HeLa cells and searching for the presence of DNA sequences related to E. coli virulence properties. Twelve potentially diarrheagenic isolates were found and classified as enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) based oil their ability to produce aggregative adherence to HeLa cells. The remaining isolates were devoid of the virulence properties searched for. The EAEC isolates belonged to 10 different serotypes, among which O128ab:H35 is often found in diarrheic feces. None of these isolates reacted with a specific EAEC DNA probe or carried any of the known EAEC virulence genes. These data indicate that ice may be all important vehicle for transmission of enteropathogens, especially of the EAEC group. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.