Preventing household transmission of Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli O157 infection: Promptly separating siblings might be the key
ABSTRACT Preventing household transmission of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157 (STEC O157) infection is important because of the ease of interpersonal transmission and the potential disease severity.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study of households associated with an outbreak of STEC O157 infection in South Wales, United Kingdom, in autumn 2005. We investigated whether characteristics of the primary case patient or the household were predictors for secondary household transmission of STEC O157 infection. Furthermore, we estimated the proportion of cases that might be prevented by isolation (e.g., hospitalization) of the primary case patient immediately after the microbiological diagnosis and the number of patients with STEC O157 who would need to be isolated to prevent 1 case of hemolytic uremic syndrome. Based on dates of symptom onset, case patients in households were classified as having primary, coprimary, or secondary infection. Secondary cases were considered to be preventable if the secondary case patient's symptoms started >1 incubation period (4 days) after the date of microbiological diagnosis of the primary case.
Eighty-nine (91%) of 98 eligible households were enrolled. Among 20 households (22%), 25 secondary cases were ascertained. Thirteen secondary cases (56%) occurred in siblings of the primary case patients; hemolytic uremic syndrome developed in 4 of these siblings. Presence of a sibling (risk ratio, 3.8; 95% confidence interval, 0.99-14.6) and young age (<5 years) of the primary case patient (risk ratio, 2.03; 95% confidence interval, 0.99-41.6) were independent predictors for households in which secondary cases occurred. Of the 15 secondary cases for which complete information was available, 7 (46%) might have been prevented. When restricting isolation to primary case patients who were aged <10 years and who had a sibling, we estimated the number of patients who would need to be isolated to prevent 1 case of hemolytic uremic syndrome to be 47 patients (95% confidence interval, 16-78 patients).
Promptly separating pediatric patients with STEC O157 infection from their young siblings should be considered.
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ABSTRACT: (1) To determine the prevalence of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and the incidence of STEC associated enteritis within Tasmania and thereby evaluate the need for routine testing for this organism, and (2) compare detection method(s) for this purpose. 282 selected faecal samples were tested for STEC using selective culture media and multiplex tandem PCR (MT-PCR). The PCR used detected the virulence markers stx1, stx2 and eaeA. STEC were isolated in six of 282 faecal samples. This represents a STEC notification rate for Tasmania of 2.3 cases per 100 000 population. CT-SMAC medium detected one, CHROMagar STEC medium detected three and MT-PCR detected six STEC isolates. CHROMagar STEC medium displayed 50% sensitivity and 93% specificity compared to MT-PCR. The incidence of STEC associated enteritis in Tasmania was almost six times greater than the previously reported Australian average. STEC Screening Easy-Plex MT-PCR was more sensitive than both CHROMagar STEC and CT-SMAC media for the detection of STEC from pre-enriched faecal samples.Pathology 11/2013; DOI:10.1097/PAT.0000000000000000 · 2.62 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This review describes Escherichia coli O157 outbreaks in the United Kingdom, beginning from the first, in the 1980s, to those recorded in 2013. We point out that the United Kingdom differs from other countries, particularly the United States, in that it has had a considerable number of outbreaks associated with butchers, but very few caused by contaminated burgers. Two of the butcher-associated outbreaks (in central Scotland in 1996 and South Wales in 2005) were very large and are considered here in detail; the reviewer conducted detailed investigations into both outbreaks. Also considered is the very large outbreak that occurred in visitors to an open farm in Surrey in 2009. Detailed descriptions of some milk-borne outbreaks and incidents connected with camping and childrens' nurseries have been published, and these are also considered in this review. Large outbreaks in the United Kingdom have sometimes led to policy developments regarding food safety, and these are considered, together with public reactions to them, their health effect, and their value, as examples to follow or eschew in terms of the procedures to be adopted in response to incidents of this kind. Regulatory and legal consequences are also considered. As a wise man said, making predictions is difficult, particularly about the future. This review follows this position but points out that although human infections caused by E. coli O157 are rare in the United Kingdom, their incidence has not changed significantly in the last 17 years. This review points out that although a response to an outbreak is to say "lessons must be learned", this response has been tempered by forgetfulness. Accordingly, this review restricts its recommendations regarding outbreaks to two: the crucial importance of a rapid response and the importance of experience, and even "gut feeling", when an inspector is evaluating the safety of a food business.Infection and Drug Resistance 08/2014; 7:211-22. DOI:10.2147/IDR.S49081
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ABSTRACT: The clinical spectrum following infection with Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is wide ranging and includes hemorrhagic colitis and life-threatening hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Severity of STEC illness depends on patients' age and strongly on the infecting strains' virulence. Serogroup O157 is often assumed to be more virulent than others. Age-adjusted population-based data supporting this view are lacking thus far. We conducted a large retrospective cohort study among patients of community-acquired gastroenteritis or HUS diagnosed with STEC infection, reported in Germany January 2004 through December 2011. Age-adjusted risks for reported hospitalization and death, as proxies for disease severity, were estimated for STEC serogroups separately, and compared with STEC O157 (reference group) using Poisson regression models with robust error estimation. A total of 8,400 case-patients were included in the analysis; for 2,454 (29%) and 30 (0.4%) hospitalization and death was reported, respectively. Highest risks for hospitalization, adjusted for age and region of residence, were estimated for STEC O104 (68%; risk ratio [RR], 1.33; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.19-1.45), followed by STEC O157 (46%). Hospitalization risks for the most prevalent non-O157 serogroups (O26, O103, O91, O145, O128, O111) were consistently and markedly lower than for O157, with the highest RR for O145 (0.54; 95% CI, 0.41-0.70) and the lowest for O103 (0.27; 95% CI, 0.20-0.35). Mortality risk of O104 was similar to O157 (1.2% each), but the group of all other non-O157 STEC had only 1/10 the risk (RR, 0.09; 95% CI, 0.02-0.32) compared to O157. The study provides population-based and age-adjusted evidence for the exceptional high virulence of STEC O157 in relation to non-O157 STEC other than O104. Timely diagnosis and surveillance of STEC infections should prioritize HUS-associated E. coli, of which STEC O157 is the most important serogroup.PLoS ONE 11/2013; 8(11):e78180. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0078180 · 3.53 Impact Factor