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Molecular detection of Escherichia coli isolated from human, animal and environmental samples targeting mdh gene: A simple one health approach

Urmy Biswas, Abhi Mallick, Surojit Das.


Escherichia coli cause a wide range of infections in humans and animals in hospitals and community associated with multidrug-resistance, and serves as bioindicator of fecal contamination as well as AMR.
Early detection of this bioindicator from humans, animals and environment facilitates characterization with respect to AMR and bacterial forensics for effective public health and infection control measurements.
We investigated a simple and rapid species-specific end-point and real-time PCR assays targeting malate dehydrogenase (mdh) gene to detect Escherichia coli isolated from livestock, human, and environmental water in Midnapore, West Bengal, India in a timely and cost-effective approach.
Of 126 E. coli isolates, 53, 41 and 32 were cultured from livestock, human and environmental water. The mdh gene was present in 120 (95.2%) isolates, including all environmental isolates. Two (3.8%) animal and four human (9.8%) isolates were discordant between culture and PCR results. The PCR assays produced results in about 90 min with a running cost of US$3-5 per sample.
Both the PCR assays may be utilized in detection of Escherichia coli depending on the laboratory infrastructure.

Key words: Escherichia coli, Bioindicator, PCR, mdh gene

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