Submitted to: Animal Health Research Reviews
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/21/2013
Publication Date: 1/8/2014
Citation: Tseng, M., Fratamico, P.M., Manning, S., Funk, J.A. 2014. Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in swine: the public health perspective. Animal Health Research Reviews. Cambridge University Press 2014. DOI:10.1017/S14662523130000170. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains are food-borne pathogens that are an important public health concern. STEC infection is associated with severe clinical diseases in humans, including hemorrhagic colitis (HC) and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can lead to kidney failure and death. Cattle are the most important STEC reservoir; however, a number of STEC outbreaks and HUS cases have been attributed to pork products. In swine, STEC strains are known to be associated with edema disease; nevertheless, the relationship between STEC of swine origin and human illness has yet to be determined. This review critically summarizes biological and epidemiological studies of swine STEC. Animal studies have demonstrated that swine are susceptible to STEC O157:H7 infection and can shed the bacterium for two months. Moreover, several epidemiologic studies conducted in multiple regions of the world have demonstrated that domestic swine can carry and shed STEC. A limited number of molecular epidemiologic studies; however, have provided conflicting evidence regarding the relationship between swine STEC and human illness. The role that swine play in STEC transmission to humans and the contribution to human disease frequency requires further evaluation.