Scientific journal

62 2023

Journal of Food and Nutrition Research
Summary No. 2 / 2023

Rešková, Z. – Andrezál, M. – Drahovská, H. – Szemes, T. – Kuchta, T.
Molecular characterization of Escherichia coli isolated from hemp seeds
Journal of Food and Nutrition Research, 62, 2023, No. 2, s. 177-182

Zuzana Rešková, Department of Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Food Research Institute, National Agricultural and Food Centre, Priemyselná 4, P. O. Box 31, SK-82475 Bratislava 25, Slovakia. E-mail:

Original article
Received 28 February 2023; 1st revised 9 May 2023; accepted 9 May 2023; published online 17 May 2023.

Summary: Hemp seeds are increasingly produced on small farms in Slovakia and used for production of food. We detected contamination of 1.4 × 107 CFU·g-1 coliform bacteria in hemp seeds from a small farm and isolated three strains of Escherichia coli. These were characterized by GTG-typing and by whole genome sequencing. The three strains were indistinguishable from each other by GTG-typing but different from a reference strain E. coli CCM 2024. They were not distinguished either by multi-locus sequence type (MLST) deduced from whole genome sequences, as all strains were of sequence type 58, or by core genome-based MLST (cgMLST), as all strains belonged to type 148521. All strains were found to be fumC4/fimH32 type and serotype H21, O-antigen was not identified. No plasmid origin was detected. No gene encoding for shiga toxin was detected. Several virulence-associated genes were detected in all three strains at high identities with sequences in the database, namely, fimH, lpfA, terC, csgA, hlyE, nlpI, yehB, yehC and yehD. Further virulence-associated genes were detected at shorter lengths, namely, fdeC, gad and yehA. Several antibiotic resistance genes were also identified. The strains were found to be virtually identical. With a probability of being a human pathogen, they need to be addressed for on-farm food production safety.

Keywords: hemp; Escherichia coli; high-throughput sequencing; DNA; virulence; safety

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