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Topological data analysis of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and non-O157 survival in soils.

  • Author(s): Ibekwe, Abasiofiok M
  • Ma, Jincai
  • Crowley, David E
  • Yang, Ching-Hong
  • Johnson, Alexis M
  • Petrossian, Tanya C
  • Lum, Pek Y
  • et al.
Abstract

Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 and non-O157 have been implicated in many foodborne illnesses caused by the consumption of contaminated fresh produce. However, data on their persistence in soils are limited due to the complexity in datasets generated from different environmental variables and bacterial taxa. There is a continuing need to distinguish the various environmental variables and different bacterial groups to understand the relationships among these factors and the pathogen survival. Using an approach called Topological Data Analysis (TDA); we reconstructed the relationship structure of E. coli O157 and non-O157 survival in 32 soils (16 organic and 16 conventionally managed soils) from California (CA) and Arizona (AZ) with a multi-resolution output. In our study, we took a community approach based on total soil microbiome to study community level survival and examining the network of the community as a whole and the relationship between its topology and biological processes. TDA produces a geometric representation of complex data sets. Network analysis showed that Shiga toxin negative strain E. coli O157:H7 4554 survived significantly longer in comparison to E. coli O157:H7 EDL 933, while the survival time of E. coli O157:NM was comparable to that of E. coli O157:H7 EDL 933 in all of the tested soils. Two non-O157 strains, E. coli O26:H11 and E. coli O103:H2 survived much longer than E. coli O91:H21 and the three strains of E. coli O157. We show that there are complex interactions between E. coli strain survival, microbial community structures, and soil parameters.

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