Laboratory investigation of an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak associated with swimming in Battle Ground Lake, Vancouver, Washington

J Environ Health. 2002 Jun;64(10):16-20, 26, 25.


Escherichia coli O157:H7 has been associated with a number of waterborne outbreaks, but it has never been recovered from an implicated environment. This paper reports on an August 1999 outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 associated with swimming in Battle Ground Lake in Clark Country, Washington. E. coli O157:H7 was isolated from duck feces, as well as from two water samples. The authors used pulsed-field gel electrophoresis to compare these isolates with patient isolates for genetic homology. All the isolates yielded the same restriction fragment patterns. In addition, using polymerase chain reaction, the authors found patient isolates and environmental isolates to have the same virulence factors (Stx, eaeA, and hly).

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Ducks
  • Escherichia coli Infections / epidemiology*
  • Escherichia coli O157 / isolation & purification
  • Escherichia coli O157 / pathogenicity*
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Geologic Sediments / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Recreation
  • Swimming*
  • Virulence
  • Washington / epidemiology


  • DNA, Bacterial