Introduction: Bacteria are requiring iron ions to grow and infect the host, which, by using iron uptake systems, acquire free iron from their host cell. Escherichia coli is one of the most important pathogens causing food poisoning and clinical infections. The aim of this study was to assess the genes encoding iron uptake systems in food samples compared to clinical specimens.
Materials and Methods: This investigation was conducted to determine the prevalence of E. coli isolated from various sources of food and clinical specimens. E. coli confirmed by the standard microbiological methods. The strains were examined for the presence of iut A and iuc A genes by detected specific primers by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique.
Results: A total of 50 and 100 isolates of E. coli were collected from clinical samples and foodstuffs, respectively. The prevalence of E. coli in the food and clinical samples were 33.33% and 64.10%, respectively. The frequency of iut A and iuc A iron ion genes in the food and clinical samples were (76%-84%) and (86% - 83%), respectively.
Conclusion: Our results showed that the prevalence of E. coli isolates with iut A and iuc A genes was relatively higher compared to many previous studies. The existence of these genes in E. coli strains is likely to be related with pathogenicity in those strains, which requires further studies in the future.