Escherichia coli serotype O157:H7: novel vehicles of infection and emergence of phenotypic variants

Emerg Infect Dis. Apr-Jun 1995;1(2):47-52. doi: 10.3201/eid0102.950202.

Abstract

Escherichia coli serotype O157:H7 was only recognized as a human pathogen a little more than a decade ago, yet it has become a major foodborne pathogen. In the United States, the severity of serotype O157:H7 infections in the young and the elderly has had a tremendous impact on human health, the food industry, and federal regulations regarding food safety. The implication of acidic foods as vehicles of infection has dispelled the concept that low-pH foods are safe. Further, the association of nonbovine products with outbreaks suggests that other vehicles of transmission may exist for this pathogen. In laboratory diagnosis, most microbiologic assays rely on a single phenotype to selectively isolate this pathogen. However, the increasing evidence that phenotypic variations exist among isolates in this serogroup may eventually necessitate modifications in assay procedures to detect them.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Escherichia coli Infections / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / transmission*
  • Escherichia coli O157*
  • Food Handling
  • Food Microbiology
  • Genetic Variation
  • Humans
  • Meat Products / microbiology
  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles*
  • Water Microbiology

Substances

  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles