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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910On-line version ISSN 1518-8787


SILVA, Zoraide N da et al. Isolation and serological identification of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli in pasteurized milk in Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2001, vol.35, n.4, pp.375-379. ISSN 0034-8910.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the microbiological quality of pasteurized milk commercialized in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and determine serologically enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) strains in E. coli isolates obtained from milk samples. METHODS: Ninety samples of pasteurized milk ¾ types B and C ¾ of three different commercial brands, purchased in supermarkets and bakeries in Rio de Janeiro, were examined. The amount of total and fecal coliform bacteria was estimated using the Most Probable Number technique. Mesophilic, psychrotrophic, and thermoduric microorganism counts were determined by the Standard Plate Count technique. Isolation and identification of E. coli were carried out using conventional physiological tests. Commercial antisera were used for serological characterization of EPEC. RESULTS: The three milk brands analyzed revealed bacterial counts above the regulated values of the Brazilian government. It was found that among 208 strains of E. coli isolated, 46 (22.1%) were serologically classified as EPEC. The most common EPEC serogroup was O55 (15.2%). CONCLUSIONS: Though recent studies on virulence factors indicate that not all strains serologically classified as EPEC are able to attaching/effacing lesion, it is believed that the isolation of EPEC serogroups from pasteurized milk represent a potential risk for children, as well as an indicative of the presence of other enteropathogens.

Keywords : Escherichia coli [pathogenic]; Milk [microbiology]; Food microbiology; Escherichia coli [enteropathogenic]; Pasteurized milk.

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