Denmark – Denmark searches for source of new E. coli outbreak (EIEC)

Food Safety News

Denmark is investigating an increase in the number of registered cases of a type of E. coli reported in the past month.

Enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC) is usually associated with travel diarrhea but the patients in the current outbreak have not been abroad, which suggests a common food may have made people sick, according to the Statens Serum Institut (SSI).

Between Nov. 23 and Dec. 16, 63 infected people with EIEC or ipaH-positive were registered at the Statens Serum Institut and 18 of them have been hospitalized.

EIEC was isolated from 22 patients and the remaining 41 are PCR positive for the invasion plasmid antigen H (ipaH) gene, which is specific to Shigella species and EIEC.

Patients live all over the country, and there are 43 women and 20 men sick. They are aged from 1 to 91 years old with a median age of 53.

Hovedstaden has the most cases with 23, Sjælland has 19, Midtjylland has 14 and seven live in Syddanmark.

The Statens Serum Institut, Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (Fødevarestyrelsen) and DTU Food Institute are trying to find the source of infection.

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