Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 30, 2004
Publication Date: June 1, 2004
Citation: Reynolds, K.M., Keen, J.E., Durso, L.M., Bauer, N.E. Shoe-leather epidemiology: an investigation of an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak at a county fair. Proceedings of the 54th Annual Meeting of the Southwest Conference on Diseases in Nature Transmissible to Man, June 2-4, 2004, Austin, TX. p. 29.
Twenty-four presumed or confirmed E. coli O157:H7 cases were detected after the 2003 Fort Bend County Fair in Rosenberg, Texas. Six weeks after the fair, environmental samples were collected at sewage overflow and animal husbandry areas of the fairgrounds and at the adjoining rodeo arena. PFGE was run on patient specimens and positive environmental specimens. All patients were either exhibitors or visitors to the fair, and had exposure to animal exhibition areas. No pattern of food or beverage consumption linked the ill individuals. Several cases had contact with swine or swine areas. All seven patients with confirmed E. coli O157:H7 had identical PFGE subtypes. Environmental sampling yielded 10 of 62 environmental sites that were E. coli O157:H7 culture positive: five animal sites and five rodeo sites. The 28 isolates derived from the ten positive sites had eight different PFGE subtypes. All ten isolates from four animal husbandry sites matched patient PFGE patterns. This outbreak was associated with the animal husbandry area of the fair with both exhibitors and visitors becoming ill. While both the rodeo and animal exhibit environments were apparently heavily contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the outbreak strain was only found in the animal exhibit area.