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Cluster investigation of mixed O76:H19 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli and atypical enteropathogenic E. coli infection in a Spanish household

  • S. SÁNCHEZ (a1), M. GARCÍA CENOZ (a2), C. MARTÍN (a3), X. BERISTAIN (a3), M. T. LLORENTE (a1) and S. HERRERA-LEÓN (a1)...

Summary

A Spanish household was identified through a Public Health follow up on a Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC)-positive 14-month-old girl reporting bloody diarrhoea, with the four household members experiencing either symptomatic or asymptomatic STEC and/or atypical enteropathogenic E. coli (aEPEC) shedding. In total, two different O76:H19 STEC strains and six aEPEC strains belonging to multiple serotypes were isolated and characterized in the household during a 5-month period. Prolonged asymptomatic shedding of O76:H19 STEC and O51:H49 aEPEC was detected in two family members. Although there was no conclusive evidence, consumption of vegetables fertilized with sheep manure was the suspected source of infection. This study highlights the risk of cross-infections posed by prolonged asymptomatic carriage and close household contact between family members, and illustrates the importance of molecular epidemiology in understanding disease clusters.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

* Author for correspondence: Dr S. Sánchez, DVM, PhD, Laboratorio de Enterobacterias, Servicio de Bacteriología, Centro Nacional de Microbiología, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Ctra. Majadahonda-Pozuelo km 2, 28220 Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain. (Email: sergio.sanchez@isciii.es)

References

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