Summary: The development of a quantitative real-time PCR method by Osaka Metropolitan University researchers enhances the detection of Escherichia Albertii, an emerging zoonotic foodborne pathogen, which has been misidentified as E. coli and linked to significant outbreaks, especially in Japan.


  1. Escherichia Albertii, often misidentified as E. coli, is an emerging zoonotic foodborne pathogen causing severe symptoms and outbreaks.
  2. Researchers developed a more accurate detection method for Escherichia Albertii using quantitative real-time PCR.
  3. The study found that E. albertii can survive in the human intestinal tract for approximately four weeks, with potential intrafamilial transmission.

The prevalence of pathogenic E. coli has meant the frequent misidentification of a similar bacterium of the Escherichia genus Escherichia Albertii is an emerging zoonotic foodborne pathogen, first isolated in Bangladesh in 1991. Large-scale outbreaks of food poisoning caused by E. albertii have since been reported especially in Japan, causing severe symptoms in both children and adults.

Further Reading: How to Improve Accessibility to Testing for GI Infections

In the hopes of establishing a diagnostic method, a joint research group led by Professor Shinji Yamasaki, and Dr. Sharda Prasad Awasthi, a specially appointed associate professor, from the Graduate School of Veterinary Science at Osaka Metropolitan University, have developed a way to detect E. albertii more accurately using a quantitative real-time PCR method.

Escherichia Albertii Is a Family Affair

Specimen examination using this technique showed that Escherichia Albertii survived in the human intestinal tract for approximately four weeks and continued to be found in feces. The identical genotype of the bacterial DNA of E. albertii that infected siblings also suggested that intrafamilial transmission may have occurred.

“These results and a novel real-time PCR developed in this study are expected to contribute not only to the selection of appropriate treatment for E. albertii gastroenteritis, but also to the elucidation of the source and route of infection,” says Yamasaki.

The findings were published in Heliyon.

Featured Image: Osaka Metropolitan University-led researchers used a real-time PCR method to effectively detect the emerging zoonotic organism Escherichia albertii. Image: Osaka Metropolitan University