“International Medical Service in Egypt.”

Enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) Outbreak In Europe

Enterohaemorrhagic E. coli, also known as verotoxigenic E. coli, produces a toxin similar to Shigella toxin called verotoxin, which causes inflammation of the colonic mucosa, resulting in diarrhea and hemorrhagic colitis.

Some patients (2-7%) end up with a life threatening complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome(HUS). With intensive care, the death rate for HUS is 3-5%. E.

coli O157 is the most common type associated with this disease. It occurs as a contaminant in fresh vegetables, undercooked meats, ground beef (hamburger at fast food restaurants) and has caused many outbreaks, the last being a deadly outbreak in Germany (June, 2011). It can be destroyed by thorough cooking of food until all parts reach a temperature of 70° C or higher.

Isolation of E. coli O157 from stool and food samples can be missed in cultures on conventional media. Its detection needs special media and special confirmatory tests which are available in Alfa Laboratories.


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