Research – The Importance of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli O145:NM[H28]/H28 Infections in Argentina, 1998–2020

MDPI

Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is known as a pathogen associated with food-borne diseases. The STEC O145 serogroup has been related with acute watery diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, hemorrhagic colitis, and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Argentina has the highest rate of HUS worldwide with 70% of the cases associated with STEC infections. We aimed to describe the epidemiology and genetic diversity of STEC O145 strains isolated across Argentina between 1998–2020. The strains isolated from 543 cases of human disease and four cattle, were pheno-genotipically characterized. Sequencing of five strains was performed. The strains were serotyped as O145:NM[H28]/H28, O145:H25, and O145:HNT, and mainly characterized as O145:NM[H28]/stx2a/eae/ehxA (98.1%). The results obtained by sequencing were consistent with those obtained by traditional methods and additional genes involved in different mechanisms of the pathogen were observed. In this study, we confirmed that STEC O145 strains are the second serogroup after O157 and represent 20.3% of HUS cases in Argentina. The frequency of STEC O145 and other significant serogroups is of utmost importance for public health in the country. This study encourages the improvement of the surveillance system to prevent severe cases of human disease. View Full-Text

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