Raw milk is a nutrient-rich food that is considered a high-quality nutritional medium for many microorganism, including Escherichia coli. The aim of the present work was the diagnosis, by molecular methods, of Shiga toxins produced by E. coli strains isolated from cow milk samples collected from different farms in Al-Mahmmodia, Al yoosifya, Al lattiffya, Al howasha, and Arab Jboor in the government of Baghdad during the summer season. Milk samples were incubated in media for bacterial isolation. Isolates were identified using Gram staining and biochemical tests. Out of 50 samples, 15 (30%) showed the presence of E. coli. To confirm the identity of the isolates, their 16S rRNA genes were amplified using specific primers. The results showed that all isolates were E. coli. Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) were detected among the samples. The prevalence of stx1 genes was higher than that of stx2 among them. No STECs were found among six of the sample isolates, and none of these isolates was positive for stx1 and stx2. SDS-PAGE was used to determine the molecular weight of the toxin, and four selected E. coli bacteria producing Shiga-like toxins showed a clear band of approximately 70 kDa.
E. coli, Shiga Toxin, PCR, Milk Samples
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