Foodborne bacteria are a common cause of gastrointestinal infection, but a recent study found that a strain of E. coli in retail chicken and turkey may be transmitted to humans and cause other infections.

Researchers conducted a one-year study of urine and blood isolates from hospital patients in Flagstaff, AZ and compared these cultures to chicken, turkey, and pork from major grocery chains in the same city. E. coli was found in 72% of the patient samples and about 80% of the meat samples.

The poultry samples, in particular, contained a specific strain called ST131-H22 which causes urinary tract infections (UTIs) in people. ST131 can also travel from the bladder to the blood, resulting in more serious infections and even death.

“In the past, we could say that E. coli from people and poultry were related to one another, but with this study, we can more confidently say that the E. coli went from poultry to people and not vice versa,” said Dr. Price, a researcher who worked on the project.

TransPharm Preclinical Solutions has validated several strains of E. coli in mouse models of peritonitis, soft tissue infection, and urinary tract infection. Additional validations are available upon request. Contact us today to request more information or a free, no-obligation quote.