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Animals and Food May Be a Reservoir for E. coli

Studies found that seagulls, fruit, and meat carry E. coli

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Animals and food may be a reservoir for pathogenic Escherichia coli bacteria, according to two studies in the January issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

In the first study, Roméo Rocha Simoes, from Hôpital de Bicêtre in France, and colleagues collected wild seagull feces from beaches in Porto, Portugal, to identify E. coli positive for extended-spectrum β-lactamases. They found that 32 percent of 139 isolates were positive, with a high rate of cefotaximase-15 resistance.

In the second study, Caroline Vincent from McGill University in Montreal, and colleagues examined E. coli present in 353 women with urinary tract infections, 417 samples of retail meat, and 74 restaurant or ready-to-eat foods. They found that E. coli strains present in retail chicken and honeydew melon were indistinguishable from, or very similar to, E. coli strains present in urinary tract infections.

"This study provides strong support for the role of food reservoirs or food-borne transmission in the dissemination of E. coli causing common community-acquired urinary tract infections," Vincent and colleagues conclude.

Full Text - Simoes
Full Text - Vincent

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