The Rabbit as a New Reservoir Host of Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli
Published Date:Dec 2003
Source:Emerg Infect Dis. 9(12):1592-1597.
Escherichia Coli Infections
Escherichia Coli O157
Escherichia Coli Proteins
Polymerase Chain Reaction
Shiga Toxin 1
Shiga Toxin 2
Funding:T32-RR07036/RR/NCRR NIH HHS/United States
Description:We investigated the prevalence of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) in rabbits acquired from two commercial vendors and a local petting zoo. Fecal samples from 34 Dutch Belted (DB) and 15 New Zealand White (NZW) rabbits were cultured; and isolates were biotyped, serotyped, tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and genotyped by repetitive-element sequence-based PCR (Rep-PCR). Seven (25%) of 28 DB rabbits acquired from one commercial source were positive for EHEC, including O153:H- and O153:H7. One (9%) of 11 NZW rabbits from the same source was positive for eae-, stx1+ O153 strains. In contrast, six DB rabbits from another commercial source and four rabbits from a petting zoo were negative for EHEC. Rep-PCR demonstrated that the O153 EHEC and O145 enteropathogenic E. coli were two distinct clones. Our study indicates that rabbits are a new reservoir host of EHEC that may pose a zoonotic risk for humans.
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