Navigation Links
Canadian discoveries pivotal to the science of toxins and illness associated with E. coli

Many Canadian scientists and clinicians were unsung heroes during the early years (19771983) of research unfolding around verotoxigenic E. coli (VTEC). In an article published today in the Canadian Journal of Microbiology, Dr. Cimolai, a clinician and medical microbiologist, documents the history of this area of study, focusing on the key discoveries and major contributions made by Canadians to the science of what many people refer to as hamburger disease. This disease poses an ongoing and significant threat to the general population; examples of its impact are the Walkerton outbreak and recent meat tainting episodes affecting the beef production industry in Alberta, as well as food contamination in Europe.

Dr. Cimola writes As stories of microbiological and infectious disease discoveries are told, one of the most charming of these in Canadian history is the recognition of VTEC and associated disease. The considerable burden and impact of E. coli-associated infections is experienced worldwide. The contributions of our national scientists in this field must be seen as a vital part of medical and microbiological Canadiana.

Cimolai reports on key contributors, including Jack Konowalchuk, Joan Speirs and their collaborators in Ottawa, who defined the E. coli verotoxin; Mohamed Karmali, Martin Petric and colleagues at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, who established the association of VTEC and hemolytic-uremic syndrome; Carlton Gyles, University of Guelph Veterinary School, and Peter Fleming, Hermy Lior and their scientific and medical peers. Many Canadian investigators, but especially those in the veterinary school at the University of Guelph, also contributed to the science of VTEC among animals. The interactions between clinical and veterinary researchers led to a then unprecedented exponential growth in the knowledge base of VTEC. The Toronto group led by Karmali stood front and centre during the most critical period of scientific progress, but certainly Konowalchuk et al.s findings were pivotal.

From a Canadian perspective, many sentinel and key observations emerged early in the general science of this topic, and as a Canadian, one can be proud of how quickly the essence of these contributions was disseminated across Canada and worldwide, explains Dr. Cimolai. While perhaps not as impactful as the Banting and Best story, perhaps it may be the next best thing in the realm of microbiology but with a Canadian flavour.

These toxin-producing E. coli are disease-causing bacteria and can cause episodes of diarrhea and bloody diarrhea. They can also lead to a complicated medical disorder known as hemolytic uremic syndrome, the most common acute form of serious kidney failure among children. It is also a major disease-causing germ among animals, but especially bovine and porcine; farm animals and their related food products can serve as a source for the bacterium to humans. Water can also be contaminated by these germs. The profound impact of disease from these toxigenic E. coli continues to be felt around the globe.


Contact: Jenny Ryan
Canadian Science Publishing (NRC Research Press)

Related biology news :

1. Canadian Journal of Cardiology publishes new atrial fibrillation guidelines
2. Supplement use predicts folate status in Canadian women
3. Canadian girl, 16, invents disease-fighting, anti-aging compound using tree particles
4. Ducks Unlimited Canada and Canadian Light Source partnership to shed light on wetlands
5. 6th Annual Canadian Neuroscience Meeting, Vancouver, May 20-23, 2012
6. Advanced Photon Source and Canadian Light Source strengthen ties
7. Concern about plans to close unique Canadian environmental project
8. Canadian homes a kill zone for up to 22 million birds a year
9. Climate-smart strategies proposed for spectacular US-Canadian landscape
10. A European invader outcompetes Canadian plants even outside its usual temperature range
11. Canadians support interventions to reduce dietary salt
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)...  The J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) policy group ... Biosecurity: Lessons Learned and Options for the Future," which ... Services guidance for synthetic biology providers has worked since ... --> --> Synthetic biology promises great ... pose unique biosecurity threats. It now is easier than ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015 Today, LifeBEAM ... partnership with 2XU, a global leader in technical ... smart hat with advanced bio-sensing technology. The hat ... to monitor key biometrics to improve overall training ... the two companies will bring together the most advanced ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... and LAS VEGAS , Oct. ... Labs , an innovator in modern authentication and a ... announced the launch of its latest version of the ... enabling organizations to use standards-based authentication that supports existing ... S3 Authentication Suite is ideal for organizations deploying customer-facing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... But unless it is bound to proteins, copper is also toxic to cells. ... at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will conduct a systematic study of copper in ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... This fall, global software solutions leader SAP and AdVenture Capital brought together dozens ... BIG ideas to improve health and wellness in their schools. , Now, the top ... of SAP's Teen Innovator, an all-expenses paid trip to Super Bowl 50, and an ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS) ... remaining 11,000 post-share consolidation (or 1,100,000 pre-share consolidation) ... B Warrants") subject to the previously disclosed November ... 2015, which will result in the issuance of ... the issuance of such shares, there will be ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - ProMetic Life ... announced today that Mr. Pierre Laurin , President and ... presentation at the upcoming Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual ... Hotel, on December 1-2, 2015. st , ... for one-on-one meetings throughout the day. The presentation will be ...
Breaking Biology Technology: