Category Archives: Shigatoxin

Europe – Large E. coli increase recorded for Europe in 2018

Food Safety News

The Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infection rate in Europe jumped by 40 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year, based on data from ECDC’s annual surveillance report.

After a stable period from 2014 to 2017, the rate increased by 41 percent in 2018. This made STEC the third most common zoonosis in Europe after Campylobacter and Salmonella.

A contributing factor may be the shift from culture to culture-independent diagnostic methods, with PCR more commonly used to diagnose cases, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

STEC infection is mainly acquired through eating contaminated food and contact with animals and/or their feces. Adequate cooking of food, particularly beef, and use of pasteurized milk may reduce the risk of foodborne infections, added the agency.

Europe – Shiga toxin/verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC/VTEC) infection – Annual Epidemiological Report for 2018


Executive summary

  • For 2018, 30 EU/EEA countries reported 8 658 confirmed cases of infection with Shigatoxin/verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC/VTEC).
  • The overall notification rate was 2.4 cases per 100 000 population.
  • After a stable period from 2014 to 2017, the notification rate increased by 41% in 2018.
  • The highest notification rates were reported in Denmark, Ireland, Malta, Norway and Sweden.
  • The highest rate of confirmed cases was observed in 0–4-year-old children (11.5 cases per 100 000 population).

Research – Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome

Pediatrics in Review

Thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) was described by Moschcowitz in 1924, and the term hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) appeared by 1955 to describe a series of patients with small-vessel renal thrombi, thrombocytopenia, and hemolytic anemia. During the 1970s an association was noted between enteric Escherichia coli infections and HUS, and in 1983 the specific trigger of Shiga toxin–producing E coli (STEC) was recognized. This recognition led to classification of HUS as “diarrhea positive” or “diarrhea negative,” although this terminology is no longer popular. Other secondary forms of HUS are known, including HUS associated with invasive pneumococcal infection, human immunodeficiency virus, systemic lupus erythematosus, or uncommon reactions to medications such as cyclosporine. More recently, the term atypical HUS (aHUS) has been used to describe a rare form of HUS occurring in susceptible individuals, most often from defects in regulation of the alternative pathway of complement, whereas typical HUS largely refers to STEC-HUS or pneumococcal HUS.

In patients with bloody diarrhea, it is imperative that front-line providers understand the importance of testing for STEC. In many parts of the world STEC O157:H7 is the most common pathogen leading to HUS, but it certainly is not the only one as many other organisms besides E coli have been causally implicated with HUS. Testing for STEC is evolving quickly. Stool culture, various assays for the Shiga toxin, and most recently DNA testing of stool are all being used, each method with its own strengths and limitations. The most crucial issue is timeliness because the window of opportunity …

Research – Shigella Bacteremia, Georgia, USA, 2002–2012



Shigella commonly causes gastroenteritis but rarely spreads to the blood. During 2002–2012, we identified 11,262 Shigella infections through population-based active surveillance in Georgia; 72 (0.64%) were isolated from blood. Bacteremia was associated with age >18 years, black race, and S. flexneri. More than half of patients with bacteremia were HIV-infected.

RASFF Alerts – STEC E.coli – Lamb Carcase – Bovine Meat


RASFF -enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (O157 stx1+, stx2-, eae+) in lamb carcass from Belgium in Belgium

RASFF -shigatoxin-producing Escherichia coli (O103 stx1+ stx2- eae+ /25g) in frozen bovine meat from Uruguay in Finland

RASFF Alerts – STEC E.coli – Chilled Beef Loins – Chilled Beef


RASFF – shigatoxin-producing Escherichia coli in chilled beef loins from Uruguay in Germany

RASFF – shigatoxin-producing Escherichia coli (presence /25g) in chilled beef from Argentina in Italy

USA – Occurrence of Foodborne Agents at Food Service Facilities in the Czech Republic

Journal of Food Protection


The aim of this study was to investigate the occurrence of foodborne agents at food service facilities in the Czech Republic. The sampling, performed from April 2016 to November 2017, focused on the microbiological monitoring of the environment at the establishment (EFS; n = 298) and the hands of staff (HFS; n = 159). The analysis targeted the presence of the following bacteria: Escherichia coli (focusing on the presence of Shiga toxigenic E. coli), Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella spp., and Campylobacter spp. A swab method using sterile abrasive sponges was used to detect bacteria in EFS; a glove-juice method was used to monitor microbial contamination on HFS. The presence of E. coliwas confirmed in 11.8% of samples (12.4%, EFS; 10.7%, HFS; P = 0.650). The presence of Shiga toxigenic E. coli was not confirmed in the samples. B. cereus was detected most frequently, in 39.6% of all samples taken (44.6%, EFS; 30.2%, HFS; P= 0.003). S. aureus was detected in 17.9% of samples (17.4%, EFS; 18.9%, HFS; P = 0.703). Of S. aureus isolates, 58.5% were found to be positive for the presence of genes producing staphylococcal enterotoxins (70%, HFS; 52.0%, EFS). L. monocytogenes was detected in only one sample (0.2%; EFS). The presence of Salmonella spp. and Campylobacter spp. was not confirmed. The occurrence of B. cereus, S. aureus, and E. coli was dependent on the season of the year. B. cereus and S. aureus occurred less frequently in the summer months, although E. coli was recorded more frequently. B. cereus, S. aureus,and E. coli were detected in almost half of the tested samples. The relatively high percentage of B. cereus and S. aureusisolates from EFS corresponded with the model in the final European Food Safety Authority reports on the occurrence of foodborne disease outbreaks in the European Union. Managers of food service facilities should focus on reducing the occurrence of B. cereus and S. aureus.

  • Contamination of food service facilities in the Czech Republic by foodborne agents was determined.

  • Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli were detected in almost 50% of samples.

  • The occurrence of B. cereus, S. aureus, and E. coli depended on the season of the year.

  • Regular monitoring of food service facilities for agents of foodborne disease is necessary.

USA -Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and Grant’s Farm in St. Louis Looking into Recent Illnesses Among Visitors – STEC E.coli

DHSS 19243

JEFFERSON CITY, MO — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), in collaboration with the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and local health agencies in the St. Louis metro area, is investigating five Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) cases that have visited Grant’s Farm since late May 2019. The investigation is ongoing and is focused on determining the specific risk that may have led to the illnesses.

MDA and DHSS have provided preliminary recommendations to Grant’s Farm to help remind patrons of the importance of handwashing after direct contact with animals. Grant’s Farm also is actively participating in the investigation by allowing animal specimens to be collected by investigators. This is in addition to routine visits from state inspectors to help supervise the health of the animals at the park.

USA – Raw Oysters link in Shigella Outbreak

Food Poison Journal



  • Consumers who recently experienced symptoms of foodborne illness after eating raw oysters
  • Restaurants that sell raw oysters in California, Nevada, New York, and Arizona


  • Oysters harvested from Estero El Cardon, Baja California Sur, Mexico
  • Oysters were distributed primarily to California, Nevada, New York, and Arizona
  • Oysters were sold to wholesale distributors with direct sales to restaurants and not to grocery retail outlets.


Consumers should not purchase oysters marketed as being harvested from Estero El Cardon, in Baja California Sur, Mexico from restaurants. Consumers who have recently experienced symptoms of foodborne illness should contact their healthcare provider and report their symptoms and receive care.

Restaurants and retailers should not serve oysters from the Estero El Cardon harvest area in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Restaurants and retailers should dispose of any products with harvest tags that indicate a growing area of Estero El Cardon by throwing them away.


RASFF Alert – STEC E.coli – Boneless Beef Rump


RASFF – shigatoxin-producing Escherichia coli (in 3 out of 5 samples /25g) and suspicion of shigatoxin-producing Escherichia coli (in 2 out of 5 samples /25g) in chilled boneless beef rump from Uruguay in Portugal