Category Archives: E.coli O145

UK – Milk and cheese linked to English E. coli outbreaks

Food Safety News

Three E. coli outbreaks were reported in England earlier this year with two linked to dairy farms.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) helped the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) investigate Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) O103, O145, and O26 outbreaks between July and September.

The E. coli O26 outbreak also involved cryptosporidium and began in the previous quarter. There were 11 cases of cryptosporidium and two people also had confirmed E. coli O26.

Cryptosporidium cases visited an open farm attraction during the incubation period of their illness. STEC cases had links to the same premises.

Health officials visited and advised on actions that would improve hygiene for visitors and reduce potential exposure to the pathogens.

APHA collected fresh faeces samples in the O103 and O145 incidents, from the yard where the cows had been prior to milking. In both cases, the outbreak strain was not detected.

The STEC O103 outbreak with 11 cases was associated with soft, raw cheese from a dairy farm in the East of England. An investigation pointed to brie-like unpasteurized soft cheese being contaminated sometime during spring.

The STEC O145 outbreak with 10 patients was linked to the consumption of milk products from a dairy farm in North West England, with illness onset from mid-July. Investigations identified an issue with pasteurization and problems with the cleaning and storage of milk crates which made external contamination of packaging plausible.

Austria sees a rise in reports of E. coli in 2021

Food Safety News

Austria recorded an increase in the number of reported E. coli infections in 2021, based on the latest data.

In 2021, 1,437 specimens were processed at the National Reference Centre for E. coli. Overall, 1,286 human samples, 79 food, and 35 pet food samples were analyzed.

A total of 476 human stool samples tested positive for Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). Of these, 310 isolates were confirmed as Shiga toxin-producing compared to 242 in 2020.

In 2021, only 34 were E. coli O157 with the rest non-O157. Among the latter, there were 25 O26, 26 O103, three O111, and 12 O145 isolates. In the Austrian Epidemiological Notification System (EMS), 384 cases were reported, up from 304 in 2020.

In Upper Austria, 53 cases were reported to the EMS in 2020 compared to 104 in 2021. This same state sent 123 human samples to the National Reference Centre in 2020 versus 566 in 2021.

Research – Bacterial Infections and Ice Cream – a Risky Mix

Food Poison Journal

Great article to read at the above link, the table below is edited there is more information in the article.

Year State Agent Brand
2014 Washington Listeria Snoqualmie Ice Cream
2010-2015 Multistate Listeria Blue Bell
2008 Vermont E. coli O157 Homemade ice cream, unpasteurized milk
2008 Minnesota Salmonella  Homemade ice cream
2008 California E. coli O157 Consumed at a restaurant; brand or pasteurization unknown
2007 California Norovirus Ice cream with berries; berries were likely the contaminated ingredient
2007 Pennsylvania Campylobacter Homemade ice cream
2007 Minnesota Hepatitis A Ice cream or yogurt at a restaurant
2007 West Virginia Salmonella Homemade ice cream
2006 Belgium E. coli O145 Ice cream at a farm
2006 California Salmonella Homemade ice cream
2005 Multistate Salmonella  Cold Stone Creamery (cake batter was the contaminated ingredient)
1994 Multistate Salmonella Schwan’s Ice Cream – the estimated # of ill cases is 224,000!
1993 Florida Salmonella  Homemade ice cream

Research – The Importance of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli O145:NM[H28]/H28 Infections in Argentina, 1998–2020

MDPI

Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is known as a pathogen associated with food-borne diseases. The STEC O145 serogroup has been related with acute watery diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, hemorrhagic colitis, and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Argentina has the highest rate of HUS worldwide with 70% of the cases associated with STEC infections. We aimed to describe the epidemiology and genetic diversity of STEC O145 strains isolated across Argentina between 1998–2020. The strains isolated from 543 cases of human disease and four cattle, were pheno-genotipically characterized. Sequencing of five strains was performed. The strains were serotyped as O145:NM[H28]/H28, O145:H25, and O145:HNT, and mainly characterized as O145:NM[H28]/stx2a/eae/ehxA (98.1%). The results obtained by sequencing were consistent with those obtained by traditional methods and additional genes involved in different mechanisms of the pathogen were observed. In this study, we confirmed that STEC O145 strains are the second serogroup after O157 and represent 20.3% of HUS cases in Argentina. The frequency of STEC O145 and other significant serogroups is of utmost importance for public health in the country. This study encourages the improvement of the surveillance system to prevent severe cases of human disease. View Full-Text

Research – Attachment of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli (STEC) to Pre-Chill and Post-Chill Beef Brisket Tissue

MDPI

Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) has caused numerous foodborne illness outbreaks where beef was implicated as the contaminated food source. Understanding how STEC attach to beef surfaces may inform effective intervention applications at the abattoir. This simulated meat processing conditions to measure STEC attachment to adipose and lean beef tissue. Beef brisket samples were warmed to a surface temperature of 30 °C (warm carcass), while the remaining samples were maintained at 4 °C (cold carcass), prior to surface inoculation with an STEC cocktail (O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, O145, and O157:H7). Cocktails were grown in either tryptic soy broth (TSB) or M9 minimal nutrient medium. Loosely and firmly attached cells were measured at 0, 3, 5, and 20 min and 1, 3, 8, 12, 24 and 48 h. TSB-grown STEC cells became more firmly attached throughout storage and a difference in loosely versus firmly attached populations on lean and adipose tissues was observed. M9-grown STEC demonstrated a 0.2 log10 CFU/cm2 difference in attachment to lean versus adipose tissue and variability in populations was recorded throughout sampling. Future research should investigate whether a decrease in intervention efficacy correlates to an increase in firmly attached STEC cells on chilled carcasses and/or subprimals, which has been reported. View Full-Text

Research – High Occurrence of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli in Raw Meat-Based Diets for Companion Animals—A Public Health Issue

MDPI

Feeding pets raw meat-based diets (RMBDs) is becoming increasingly popular but comes with a risk of pathogenic bacteria, including Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). In humans, STEC may cause gastrointestinal illnesses, including diarrhea, hemorrhagic colitis (HC), and the hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The aim of this study was to evaluate commercially available RMBDs with regard to the occurrence of STEC. Of 59 RMBD samples, 59% tested positive by real-time PCR for the presence of Shiga toxin genes stx1 and/or stx2. STECs were recovered from 41% of the 59 samples, and strains were subjected to serotyping and virulence gene profiling, using whole genome sequencing (WGS)-based methods. Of 28 strains, 29% carried stx2a or stx2d, which are linked to STEC with high pathogenic potential. Twenty different serotypes were identified, including STEC O26:H11, O91:H10, O91:H14, O145:H28, O146:H21, and O146:H28, which are within the most common non-O157 serogroups associated with human STEC-related illnesses worldwide. Considering the low infectious dose and potential severity of disease manifestations, the high occurrence of STEC in RMBDs poses an important health risk for persons handling raw pet food and persons with close contact to pets fed on RMBDs, and is of concern in the field of public health.

Research – High Occurrence of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli in Raw Meat-Based Diets for Companion Animals—A Public Health Issue

MDPI

Feeding pets raw meat-based diets (RMBDs) is becoming increasingly popular but comes with a risk of pathogenic bacteria, including Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). In humans, STEC may cause gastrointestinal illnesses, including diarrhea, hemorrhagic colitis (HC), and the hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The aim of this study was to evaluate commercially available RMBDs with regard to the occurrence of STEC. Of 59 RMBD samples, 59% tested positive by real-time PCR for the presence of Shiga toxin genes stx1 and/or stx2. STECs were recovered from 41% of the 59 samples, and strains were subjected to serotyping and virulence gene profiling, using whole genome sequencing (WGS)-based methods. Of 28 strains, 29% carried stx2a or stx2d, which are linked to STEC with high pathogenic potential. Twenty different serotypes were identified, including STEC O26:H11, O91:H10, O91:H14, O145:H28, O146:H21, and O146:H28, which are within the most common non-O157 serogroups associated with human STEC-related illnesses worldwide. Considering the low infectious dose and potential severity of disease manifestations, the high occurrence of STEC in RMBDs poses an important health risk for persons handling raw pet food and persons with close contact to pets fed on RMBDs, and is of concern in the field of public health. View Full-Text

Research – Genetic diversity and pathogenic potential of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) derived from German flour

Science Direct

Abstract

Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) can cause severe human illness, which are frequently linked to the consumption of contaminated beef or dairy products. However, recent outbreaks associated with contaminated flour and undercooked dough in the United States and Canada, highlight the potential of plant based food as transmission routes for STEC. In Germany STEC has been isolated from flour, but no cases of illness have been linked to flour.

In this study, we characterized 123 STEC strains isolated from flour and flour products collected between 2015 and 2019 across Germany. In addition to determination of serotype and Shiga toxin subtype, whole genome sequencing (WGS) was used for isolates collected in 2018 to determine phylogenetic relationships, sequence type (ST), and virulence-associated genes (VAGs).

We found a high diversity of serotypes including those frequently associated with human illness and outbreaks, such as O157:H7 (stx2c/d, eae), O145:H28 (stx2a, eae), O146:H28 (stx2b), and O103:H2 (stx1a, eae). Serotypes O187:H28 (ST200, stx2g) and O154:H31 (ST1892, stx1d) were most prevalent, but are rarely linked to human cases. However, WGS analysis revealed that these strains, as well as, O156:H25 (ST300, stx1a) harbour high numbers of VAGs, including eae, nleB and est1a/sta1.

Although STEC-contaminated flour products have yet not been epidemiologically linked to human clinical cases in Germany, this study revealed that flour can serve as a vector for STEC strains with a high pathogenic potential. Further investigation is needed to determine the sources of STEC contamination in flour and flour products particularly in regards to these rare serotypes.

USA – Core Investigation Updated

FDA

The table includes the conclusion of an  E. coli O145:H28 outbreak. The FDA reports that 16 people were sickened in the outbreak for which a cause has not been detected.

A new Salmonella outbreak has also been added with little other information.

USA – FDA Core Investigation Table Update

FDA

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