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BEPA. Boletim Epidemiológico Paulista (Online)

On-line version ISSN 1806-4272


CALDORIN, Marielle; ALMEIDA, Ivete Aparecida Zago Castanheira de; PERESI, Jacqueline Tanury Macruz  and  ALVES, Elisabete Cardiga. Occurrence of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in Brazil and its public health importance. BEPA, Bol. epidemiol. paul. (Online) [online]. 2013, vol.10, n.110, pp. 4-20. ISSN 1806-4272.

Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is a pathogenic bacterium involved in outbreaks of foodborne illness, becoming a major public health challenge. This study aimed to report the occurrence of STEC in Brazil and its importance in public health, through a retrospective study that tried this pathogen laboratory findings in reports involving animals, foods and humans. The positivity of STEC in cattle assessed in studies ranged from 1.4 to 71%. Non-O157 strains were predominant in all states, and the O157:H7 isolated from animals in the states of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Paraná. In the state of São Paulo was isolated from 16 serotypes not found in other states. The positivity of STEC in different animal food sources, and water for human consumption from the state of São Paulo, Tocantins and Rio Grande do Sul ranged from 0 to 18.1%, observing 7 different serotypes. STEC O157: H7 was isolated from ground beef in São Paulo-SP. The positivity of STEC from the few studies in humans in Brazil, restricted to the states of São Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul, demonstrated levels of isolation between 0.6 and 6.3%, 10 different serotypes were isolated, predominantly O111:NM. Although the incidence of human infection with STEC in Brazil is relatively low, we observed a high prevalence of these bacteria in cattle and sheep, and the correlation of serotypes isolated from animals with food and human isolates. Therefore the importance of good handling practices of the producer and the consumer to prevent possible food contamination.

Keywords : Escherichia coli; STEC; Shiga toxin; Animals; Foods; Human.

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