Project description:In 2016, we reviewed preventive control measures for secondary transmission of Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in humans in European Union (EU)/European Free Trade Association (EEA) countries to inform the revision of the respective Norwegian guidelines which at that time did not accommodate for the varying pathogenic potential of STEC. We interviewed public health experts from EU/EEA institutes, using a semi-structured questionnaire. We revised the Norwegian guidelines using a risk-based approach informed by the new scientific evidence on risk factors for HUS and the survey results. All 13 (42%) participating countries tested STEC for Shiga toxin (stx) 1, stx2 and eae (encoding intimin). Five countries differentiated their control measures based on clinical and/or microbiological case characteristics, but only Denmark based their measures on routinely conducted stx subtyping. In all countries, but Norway, clearance was obtained with ?3 negative STEC specimens. After this review, Norway revised the STEC guidelines and recommended only follow-up of cases infected with high-virulent STEC (determined by microbiological and clinical information); clearance is obtained with three negative specimens. Implementation of the revised Norwegian guidelines will lead to a decrease of STEC cases needing follow-up and clearance, and will reduce the burden of unnecessary public health measures and the socioeconomic impact on cases. This review of guidelines could assist other countries in adapting their STEC control measures.
Project description:Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli serogroup O26 is an important public health pathogen. Phylogenetic bacterial lineages in a country can be associated with the level and timing of international imports of live cattle, the main reservoir. We sequenced the genomes of 152 E. coli O26 isolates from New Zealand and compared them with 252 E. coli O26 genomes from 14 other countries. Gene variation among isolates from humans, animals, and food was strongly associated with country of origin and stx toxin profile but not isolation source. Time of origin estimates indicate serogroup O26 sequence type 21 was introduced at least 3 times into New Zealand from the 1920s to the 1980s, whereas nonvirulent O26 sequence type 29 strains were introduced during the early 2000s. New Zealand's remarkably fewer introductions of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O26 compared with other countries (such as Japan) might be related to patterns of trade in live cattle.
Project description:Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), of various serogroups harboring the intimin gene, form a serious threat to human health. They are asymptomatically carried by cattle. In this study, a quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) method was developed as a molecular method to detect and quantify Shiga toxin genes stx1 and stx2 and the intimin gene eae. Subsequently, 59 fecal samples from six farms were tested using qPCR and a culture method as a reference. Three farms had contaminated animals as demonstrated by the culture method. Culture-positive farms showed moderate significantly higher stx prevalences than culture-negative farms (p = 0.05). This is the first study which showed preliminary results that qPCR can predict STEC farm contamination, with a specificity of 77% and a sensitivity of 83%, as compared with the culture method. Furthermore, the presence or quantity of stx genes in feces was not correlated to the isolation of STEC from the individual animal. Quantitative data thus did not add value to the results. Finally, the detection of both stx and eae genes within the same fecal sample or farm using qPCR was not correlated with the isolation of an eae-harboring STEC strain from the respective sample or farm using the culture method.
Project description:Long polar fimbriae (Lpf) are intestinal adhesins and important virulence factors of pathogenic Escherichia coli strains. We cloned and sequenced the lpf2-1 operon (lpf2ABCD) and its flanking regions of an intimin- and Shiga toxin-negative atypical E. coli O157:H43 strain of bovine origin and also sequenced the lpf2-1 operon of six additional atypical O157 bovine E. coli strains of various serotypes. Nucleotide sequence comparison of these lpf operons showed sequence conservation as they contained only four polymorphic nucleotide positions. Investigation of these O157 strains as well as 13 E. coli Reference Collection (ECOR) strains carrying the lpf2-1 allele revealed high degree of sequence conservation in the lpf2 flanking regions. The lpf2-1 allele is also present in a bovine Shiga toxin-producing E. coli STEC O136:H12 strain, and in vitro adherence assays revealed that the absence of lpf2-1 in this strain did not affect its host cell-binding properties. Our data indicate that lpf2 loci are highly conserved in E. coli isolates; however, its role in adherence might be masked by other uncharacterized adhesins.
Project description:Shiga toxin (Stx) is considered the main virulence factor in Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections. Previously we reported the expression of biologically active Stx by eukaryotic cells in vitro and in vivo following transfection with plasmids encoding Stx under control of the native bacterial promoter (1,2). Since stx genes are present in the genome of lysogenic bacteriophages, here we evaluated the relevance of bacteriophages during STEC infection. We used the non-pathogenic E. coli C600 strain carrying a lysogenic 933W mutant bacteriophage in which the stx operon was replaced by a gene encoding the green fluorescent protein (GFP). Tracking GFP expression using an In Vivo Imaging System (IVIS), we detected fluorescence in liver, kidney, and intestine of mice infected with the recombinant E. coli strain after treatment with ciprofloxacin, which induces the lytic replication and release of bacteriophages. In addition, we showed that chitosan, a linear polysaccharide composed of d-glucosamine residues and with a number of commercial and biomedical uses, had strong anti-bacteriophage effects, as demonstrated at in vitro and in vivo conditions. These findings bring promising perspectives for the prevention and treatment of haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) cases.
Project description:During a large outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli illness associated with an agricultural show in Australia, we used whole-genome sequencing to detect an IS1203v insertion in the Shiga toxin 2c subunit A gene of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli. Our study showed that clinical illness was mild, and hemolytic uremic syndrome was not detected.
Project description:Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O84 isolates (n = 22) were examined using culture- and molecularly based methods in order to compare their phenotypic and genotypic characteristics. These analyses directly linked Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O84 isolates from cattle and sheep with human isolates indicating that New Zealand livestock may be a reservoir of infection.
Project description:The prevalence of Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) was determined by evaluating its presence in faecal samples from 155 heifers, and 254 dairy cows in 21 farms at North of Portugal sampled between December 2017 and June 2019. The prevalence of STEC in heifers (45%) was significantly higher than in lactating cows (16%) (p<0.05, Fisher exact test statistic value is <0.00001). A total of 133 STEC were isolated, 24 (13.8%) carried Shiga-toxin 1 (stx1) genes, 69 (39.7%) carried Shiga-toxin 2 (stx2) genes, and 40 (23%) carried both stx1 and stx2. Intimin (eae) virulence gene was detected in 29 (21.8%) of the isolates. STEC isolates belonged to 72 different O:H serotypes, comprising 40 O serogroups and 23 H types. The most frequent serotypes were O29:H12 (15%) and O113:H21 (5.2%), found in a large number of farms. Two isolates belonged to the highly virulent serotypes associated with human disease O157:H7 and O26:H11. Many other bovine STEC serotypes founded in this work belonged to serotypes previously described as pathogenic to humans. Thus, this study highlights the need for control strategies that can reduce STEC prevalence at the farm level and, thus, prevent food and environmental contamination.
Project description:This is the first report of the isolation of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains whose O antigens were genetically and serologically identical to those of Shigella boydii type 10, from human feces. The novel STEC O serogroup may be widespread in Japan and associated with diarrhea and hemorrhagic colitis.
Project description:This study assessed the prevalence and zoonotic potential of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) sampled from 104 dairy units in the central region of Zambia and compared these with isolates from patients presenting with diarrhoea in the same region. A subset of 297 E. coli strains were sequenced allowing in silico analyses of phylo- and sero-groups. The majority of the bovine strains clustered in the B1 'commensal' phylogroup (67%) and included a diverse array of serogroups. 11% (41/371) of the isolates from Zambian dairy cattle contained Shiga toxin genes (stx) while none (0/73) of the human isolates were positive. While the toxicity of a subset of these isolates was demonstrated, none of the randomly selected STEC belonged to key serogroups associated with human disease and none encoded a type 3 secretion system synonymous with typical enterohaemorrhagic strains. Positive selection for E. coli O157:H7 across the farms identified only one positive isolate again indicating this serotype is rare in these animals. In summary, while Stx-encoding E. coli strains are common in this dairy population, the majority of these strains are unlikely to cause disease in humans. However, the threat remains of the emergence of strains virulent to humans from this reservoir.