The non-O157 shiga-toxigenic (verocytotoxigenic) Escherichia coli; under-rated pathogens

Crit Rev Microbiol. 2007;33(1):67-87. doi: 10.1080/10408410601172172.


Following a brief review of the ecology of Escherichia coli in general, the role of Shiga-Toxigenic (Verocytotoxigenic) E. coli (STEC) as pathogens is addressed. While STEC belonging to the serogroup O157 have been extensively studied and shown to be involved in many cases and outbreaks of human disease, the importance of STEC belonging to other serogroups has not been recognized as much. This review addresses the problems associated with these pathogens, demonstrating that increasing the awareness of them is a major part of the problem. This review then demonstrates how widespread isolations especially from food animals and human disease have been, discussing in particular STEC belonging to serogroups O8, O26, O103, O111, O113 and O128. The animal host-specificity of these STEC is also reviewed. In conclusion some methods of improving isolation of these pathogens is addressed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cattle Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cattle Diseases / microbiology
  • Child
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Escherichia coli / classification*
  • Escherichia coli / isolation & purification
  • Escherichia coli / pathogenicity*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / epidemiology*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Meat / microbiology*
  • Poultry / microbiology
  • Poultry Diseases / epidemiology
  • Poultry Diseases / microbiology
  • Prevalence
  • Serotyping
  • Sheep / microbiology
  • Sheep Diseases / epidemiology
  • Sheep Diseases / microbiology
  • Shiga Toxins / biosynthesis*
  • Swine / microbiology
  • Swine Diseases / epidemiology
  • Swine Diseases / microbiology
  • Virulence


  • Shiga Toxins