The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in cattle and pigs as a possible STEC reservoir in Lima, Peru. One hundred and fourteen cattle and 112 pigs from 10 and 4 farms, respectively, were studied. Five E. coli colonies per culture were studied by a multiplex real-time PCR to identify Shiga toxin-producing (stx1, stx2, eaeA), enterotoxigenic (lt, st), enteropathogenic (eaeA), enteroinvasive (ipaH), enteroaggregative (aggR), and diffusely adherent E. coli (daaD). Shiga toxin-producing E. coli were isolated from 16 cattle (14%) but none from pigs. stx1 was found in all bovine isolates, 11 of which also carried eaeA genes (69%); only 1 sample had both stx1 and stx2. Thirteen stx-positive strains were classified as Shiga-toxigenic (81%) using an enzymatic immunoassay, 2 STEC strains were from serogroup O157 (13%), and 7 were sorbitol negative (44%). Enteropathogenic E. coli were detected more frequently in cattle (18%, 20/114) than in pigs (5%, 6/112). To our knowledge, this is the first study on the prevalence of STEC in farms animals in Peru using molecular methods. Further studies are needed in a large number of farms to determine the relevance of these findings and its consequences for public health.
- Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli