Research – E. coli O104:H4 is similar to the 2011 outbreak strain found in Europe

Food Safety News

A type of E. coli similar to what caused a large outbreak in 2011 has recently been detected in Europe, according to researchers.

Two cases of Shiga toxin-producing Enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) O104:H4 were reported in the Netherlands in 2019 and 2020 and in one food isolate from 2017. There was also a patient from Austria in 2021.

In 2011, a huge outbreak caused by STEC O104:H4 occurred in Europe, mainly Germany and France, that was associated with sprouts grown from fenugreek seeds from Egypt. The outbreak resulted in more than 4,000 infections and 54 deaths from 16 countries, including six cases in the United States.

After this outbreak, only a few sporadic infections with EAEC O104:H4 were reported, most related to travel to Turkey or North Africa, said the study published in Emerging Infectious Diseases.

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