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Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli in artisanal cheeses produced in the State of Sao Paulo

Grant number: 23/01915-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2023
Effective date (End): April 30, 2024
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Food Science and Technology - Food Science
Principal Investigator:Mariza Landgraf
Grantee:Leticia Cunha Macedo
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas (FCF). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/07914-8 - FoRC - Food Research Center, AP.CEPID


Shiga toxin producing E. coli microorganisms known as STEC, are an important cause of foodborne illness, responsible for several gastrointestinal disorders in humans, ranging from mild diarrhea to hemorrhagic colitis and, in more severe cases, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Its pathogenicity is due to the presence of several virulence factors, including the Shiga toxin, encoded by the stx1 and stx2 genes, and the "intimate" bacterial adhesion to the intestinal mucosa of the human host encoded by the eae gene. This microorganism can be transmitted through food, water, and person to person. Among foods, dairy products produced with raw milk are of interest due to the possibility of contamination of the raw material during milking and subsequent multiplication of microorganisms if there is no temperature control. Brazil has stood out as a producer of artisanal cheeses and the state of São Paulo has been gaining relevance in this area with cheeses produced from cow's milk and other mammals, with diverse and innovative recipes. However, little is known about the microbiological conditions of these cheeses. This project aims to investigate the presence of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) in samples of artisanal cheeses produced in the state of São Paulo. The virulence genes stx1, stx2 and eae for STEC will be investigated by conventional PCR in E. coli colonies isolated from different samples of artisanal cheeses. Colonies identified as STEC will be submitted to serotyping at Instituto Adolfo Lutz.

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