Colimetric index and virulence genes iss and iutA in Escherichia coli isolates in cellulitis of poultry carcasses under sanitary inspection

SUMMARY Current study determines the population of total coliforms and Escherichia coli and identifies iss and iutA virulence genes in Escherichia coli strains isolated from cellulitis in poultry carcasses retrieved from a slaughterhouse. One hundred cellulitis lesions were collected between August 2013 and January 2014. The population of total coliforms and Escherichia coli was verified by Petrifilm™ rapid counting method (AOAC 998.8). Escherichia coli samples were analyzed for iss and iutA genes by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technique. Total coliforms were present in 96.0% (96/100) of the analyzed samples, with a population between 3.4 and 9.5 log CFU/g. Escherichia coli was present in 82.0% (82/100) of cellulitis samples and the population ranged between <1.0 and 9.0 log CFU/g. The iss gene was found in 89.0% of isolates and the iutA gene in 97.6%. High populations of total coliforms and Escherichiacoli in cellulitis samples indicate that hygienic-sanitary failures may have occurred in the production of broilers. When high prevalence of virulence genes under analysis, characteristic of Avian Pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) and possible zoonotic character of the pathotype are taken into account, it is important to highlight the need to adopt Good Manufacturing Practices, Standard Procedures of Operational Hygiene and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points in poultry slaughterhouses to ensure the safety of the final product.