Evaluation of DNA probes for detection of Shiga-like-toxin-producing Escherichia coli in food and calf fecal samples

Appl Environ Microbiol. 1990 May;56(5):1212-5. doi: 10.1128/aem.56.5.1212-1215.1990.


The use of DNA probes for Shiga-like toxin I (SLT-I) and SLT-II for detection of SLT-producing Escherichia coli (SLTEC) in foods and calf fecal samples was evaluated. Enrichment cultures were prepared from food or fecal samples. Colonies formed by plating of enrichment cultures were probed for SLTEC by colony hybridization. Alternatively, enrichment cultures were analyzed for SLTEC presence by dot blot. The lowest detected concentration of SLTEC in sample homogenates inoculated with E. coli O157:H7 corresponded to 1.3 CFU/g of sample. Of the 44 food samples and 28 fecal samples from dairy calves tested by the colony hybridization method, 4 food samples, including ground beef, raw goat milk, blueberries, and surimi-based delicatessen salad, and 9 calf fecal samples were positive with the SLT probes. The dot blot technique yielded results within 48 h and can be used as a fast and sensitive method of detection for SLTEC in foods and calf fecal samples. The colony hybridization technique took 3 to 4 days but permits recovery of the positive colonies when desired.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Toxins / genetics*
  • Cattle / microbiology*
  • DNA Probes*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / isolation & purification*
  • Feces / microbiology*
  • Food Microbiology*
  • Shiga Toxin 1
  • Shiga Toxin 2


  • Bacterial Toxins
  • DNA Probes
  • Shiga Toxin 1
  • Shiga Toxin 2