The Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infection rate in Europe jumped by 40 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year, based on data from ECDC’s annual surveillance report.

After a stable period from 2014 to 2017, the rate increased by 41 percent in 2018. This made STEC the third most common zoonosis in Europe after Campylobacter and Salmonella.

A contributing factor may be the shift from culture to culture-independent diagnostic methods, with PCR more commonly used to diagnose cases, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

STEC infection is mainly acquired through eating contaminated food and
Continue Reading Large E. coli increase recorded for Europe in 2018

More than 1,500 confirmed Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infections were reported in England and Wales in 2018 and five people died, according to Public Health England data.

A total of 1,553 confirmed cases included 607 laboratory-confirmed cases of STEC serogroup O157 and 612 infections where a non-O157 serogroup was isolated. In 2017, 948 confirmed cases of STEC were reported.

For 334 cases, samples tested positive by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) for Shiga toxin (stx) genes, but STEC was not cultured with more than 300 of these in England.

Four STEC outbreaks caused by O157 affecting 55 people were investigated
Continue Reading STEC increase for England and Wales in 2018

All Shiga toxin-producing E. coli strains are pathogenic and potentially associated with severe illness, according to an EFSA scientific opinion.

While serotype is important in epidemiological tracking, including incidence, emergence of new clones, and detection and investigation of outbreaks, it is not possible to exclude pathogenicity or possibility of severe illness based on this information, according to the European agency.

The opinion found all STEC subtypes may be associated with severe illness such as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), bloody diarrhea and hospitalization. Although stx2a had the highest rates of these, all other Shiga toxin (stx) subtypes, for which there was
Continue Reading EFSA: All STEC subtypes may cause severe illness