Submitted to: Advances in microbial food safety
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/24/2014
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157:H7 is a leading cause of food-borne illness in the United States; however, recent reports have shown that non-O157 STEC serogroups contribute to more illnesses than O157:H7. Illness caused by non-O157 STEC strains are generally less severe than those caused by O157:H7; however, some non-O157 STEC serogroups have caused outbreaks and serious illnesses, including hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome, as well as death. Hemolytic uremic syndrome is the leading cause of acute renal failure in infants and children. Ruminants are the major reservoir of both O157 and non-O157 STEC. Transmission of the non-O157 STEC to humans is generally due to the ingestion of contaminated animal products or produce contaminated by animal feces. Studies have shown that the effect of food-related stress conditions on non-O157 STEC is similar to the effect on O157:H7, and thus, interventions that control O157 STEC will also inactivate non-O157 STEC. The development of methods for detection and isolation of non-O157STEC has been more challenging than for O157:H7 since the non-O157 STEC are a heterogeneous group of pathogens that do not have common phenotypic characteristics besides the production of the Shiga toxins. Methods that can be used to detect highly virulent non-O157 STEC are needed, and additional research to understand the prevalence, epidemiology, and virulence of these pathogens is critical for their effective control.