To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) caused by infection with Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is a relatively rare but potentially fatal multisystem syndrome clinically characterised by acute kidney injury. This study aimed to provide robust estimates of paediatric HUS incidence in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland by using data linkage and case reconciliation with existing surveillance systems, and to describe the characteristics of the condition. Between 2011 and 2014, 288 HUS patients were included in the study, of which 256 (89.5%) were diagnosed as typical HUS. The crude incidence of paediatric typical HUS was 0.78 per 100,000 person-years, although this varied by country, age, gender, and ethnicity. The majority of typical HUS cases were 1 to 4 years old (53.7%) and female (54.0%). Clinical symptoms included diarrhoea (96.5%) and/or bloody diarrhoea (71.9%), abdominal pain (68.4%), and fever (41.4%). Where STEC was isolated (59.3%), 92.8% of strains were STEC O157 and 7.2% were STEC O26. Comparison of the HUS case ascertainment to existing STEC surveillance data indicated an additional 166 HUS cases were captured during this study, highlighting the limitations of the current surveillance system for STEC for monitoring the clinical burden of STEC and capturing HUS cases.
In November 2019, an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 was detected in South Yorkshire, England. Initial investigations established consumption of milk from a local dairy as a common exposure. A sample of pasteurised milk tested the next day failed the phosphatase test, indicating contamination of the pasteurised milk by unpasteurised (raw) milk. The dairy owner agreed to immediately cease production and initiate a recall. Inspection of the pasteuriser revealed a damaged seal on the flow divert valve. Ultimately, there were 21 confirmed cases linked to the outbreak, of which 11 (52%) were female, and 12/21 (57%) were either <15 or >65 years of age. Twelve (57%) patients were treated in hospital, and three cases developed haemolytic uraemic syndrome. Although the outbreak strain was not detected in the milk samples, it was detected in faecal samples from the cattle on the farm. Outbreaks of gastrointestinal disease caused by milk pasteurisation failures are rare in the UK. However, such outbreaks are a major public health concern as, unlike unpasteurised milk, pasteurised milk is marketed as ‘safe to drink’ and sold to a larger, and more dispersed, population. The rapid, co-ordinated multi-agency investigation initiated in response to this outbreak undoubtedly prevented further cases.
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) serogroup O157 is a zoonotic, foodborne gastrointestinal pathogen of major public health concern. We describe the epidemiology of STEC O157 infection in England by exploring the microbiological and clinical characteristics, the demographic and geographical distribution of cases, and examining changes in environmental exposures over 11 years of enhanced surveillance. Enhanced surveillance data including microbiological subtyping, clinical presentations and exposures were extracted for all cases resident in England with evidence of STEC O157 infection, either due to faecal culture or serology detection. Incidence rates were calculated based on mid-year population estimates from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). Demographics, geography, severity and environmental exposures were compared across the time periods 2009–2014 and 2015–2019. The number of cases reported to national surveillance decreased, with the mean cases per year dropping from 887 for the period 2009–2014 to 595 for the period 2015–2019. The decline in STEC O157 infections appears to be mirrored by the decrease in cases infected with phage type 21/28. Although the percentage of cases that developed HUS decreased, the percentage of cases reporting bloody diarrhoea and hospitalisation remained stable. The number of outbreaks declined over time, although more refined typing methods linked more cases to each outbreak. Integration of epidemiological data with microbiological typing data is essential to understanding the changes in the burden of STEC infection, assessment of the risks to public health, and the prediction and mitigation of emerging threats.
In April 2018, Public Health England was notified of cases of Shigella sonnei who had eaten food from three different catering outlets in England. The outbreaks were initially investigated as separate events, but whole-genome sequencing (WGS) showed they were caused by the same strain. The investigation included analyses of epidemiological data, the food chain and microbiological examination of food samples. WGS was used to determine the phylogenetic relatedness and antimicrobial resistance profile of the outbreak strain. Ultimately, 33 cases were linked to this outbreak; the majority had eaten food from seven outlets specialising in Indian or Middle Eastern cuisine. Five outlets were linked to two or more cases, all of which used fresh coriander although a shared supplier was not identified. An investigation at one of the venues recorded that 86% of cases reported eating dishes with coriander as an ingredient or garnish. Four cases were admitted to hospital and one had evidence of treatment failure with ciprofloxacin. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the outbreak strain was part of a wider multidrug-resistant clade associated with travel to Pakistan. Poor hygiene practices during cultivation, distribution or preparation of fresh produce are likely contributing factors.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.