Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/7/2012
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: It is estimated that non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) cause twice the number of illnesses annually in the U.S. compared to E. coli O157:H7. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s FoodNet Program have shown that six STEC serogroups (O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145) cause greater than 70% of illnesses caused by non-O157 STEC. Similar to O157:H7, cattle and other ruminants are reservoirs for non-O157 STEC. Outbreaks caused by non-O157 STEC have been linked to contact with animals, person-to-person transmission, and to contaminated water, produce, mutton, and beef. Preharvest measures to control E. coli O157:H7 appear to also control non-O157 STEC; however, additional research to address this is needed. Research shows that non-O157 STEC are not more resistant than O157:H7 to acid, heat, or to chemical decontamination treatments. Because food of bovine origin has been linked to illness caused by STEC, and the top six non-O157 STEC can cause illness as severe as that caused by O157:H7, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) declared the top six as adulterants in beef, and a verification sampling program is being initiated to test for these pathogens in beef samples collected from federally inspected establishments. The FSIS Microbiology Laboratory Guidebook method (MLG 5B.01) for testing for the top six non-O157 STEC was released in November 2011. The method consists of enrichment of beef samples, PCR assays targeting the stx1, stx2, and eae genes and assays to determine the O groups, followed by immunomagnetic separation, plating, and confirmation. Testing will help to ensure that meat contaminated with pathogenic strains belonging to the top six non-O157 STEC serogroups will not be released for human consumption.