Navigation Links
Crowd-sourcing the E. coli O104:H4 outbreak
Date:9/4/2011

Ten variants of the deadly Escherichia coli strain that hit Germany in May 2011 have been sequenced across the world. The unprecedented level of collaboration across the scientific community should give insight into how the outbreak arose, says a scientist at the Society for General Microbiology's Autumn Conference 2011.

Sequencing of the bacterium started in early June at BGI, China. Their sequence was provided in draft form to the scientific community as a crowd-sourcing project. This allowed scientists, including those at The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC) in Norwich to identify key disease-causing genes. Dr Lisa Crossman, Microbial Genome Project Leader at TGAC, explained, "We have found that the E. coli strain responsible for the outbreak carries a very high number of genes known to be involved in disease. These include genes that influence the bacterium's ability to attach to surfaces and survival genes that increase tolerance to high acidity, low oxygen, UV light and antibiotics."

The outbreak of E. coli O104:H4 resulted in a large number of cases of bloody diarrhoea and haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) in Germany, and in 15 other countries in Europe and North America. The earliest studies suggested contaminated cucumbers were to blame. However by 10 June, raw beansprouts were identified as the source of infection. Over 4,000 cases and around 50 deaths have occurred so far across 16 countries in Europe and North America. The outbreak has also had a very high economic impact on the fresh vegetable market, especially in Spain and across Europe.

Crowd-sourcing researchers found that the outbreak strain is most closely related to a strain of E. coli originally isolated in Central Africa some years ago, which was responsible for cases of serious diarrhoea. "The E. coli O104:H4 outbreak strain has gained the ability to make a toxin from a bacterial virus source which has made it more dangerous," explained Dr Crossman.

The unprecedented global crowd-sourcing effort meant that in the very immediate term, doctors were able to distinguish this strain from others, said Dr Crossman. "Knowing which antibiotic resistance genes are carried by the strain, for example, can provide us with more insight into the source of the outbreak and help us avoid similar outbreaks occurring in the future," she said.

Institutions around the world have now isolated ten different variants of E. coli O104:H4. "These variants represent a tremendous resource to examine this bug in a new, rapid and exciting way. By studying the genetic factors involved in the survival of this bacterium on surfaces, we hope to get an angle on how this organism has been able to get a foothold in the global food chain," suggested Dr Crossman.


'/>"/>

Contact: Laura Udakis
l.udakis@sgm.ac.uk
44-118-988-1843
Society for General Microbiology
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Researchers uncover source of Haitian cholera outbreak
2. TGen and DTU researchers track source of Haitian cholera outbreak
3. Two isolates from E. coli outbreak available
4. Genomics and social network analysis team up to solve disease outbreaks
5. Forecast system to warn of toxic algal outbreaks along Texas shoreline
6. Risk of beetle outbreaks rise, along with temperature, in the warming West
7. Discovery of a hepatitis C-related virus in bats may reduce outbreaks in humans
8. Cold fronts linked to European H5N1 outbreaks
9. Rapid response team investigates coral disease outbreak in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu
10. Hygienic Lab at U. Iowa first to confirm salmonella in nationwide outbreak
11. Scientists decoding genomic sequences of H1N1 using isolates from outbreak in Argentina
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Crowd-sourcing the E. coli O104:H4 outbreak
(Date:4/13/2016)... , April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid ... setting a new clinical standard in telehealth thanks to ... leveraging the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely track ... and body mass index, and, when they opt in, ... convenient visit to a local retail location at no ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... -- Genomics firm Nabsys has completed a financial  restructuring under ... M.D., who returned to the company in October 2015. ... including Chief Technology Officer, John Oliver , Ph.D., ... Vice President of Software and Informatics, Michael Kaiser ... Bready served as CEO of Nabsys from 2005-2014 and ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... 23, 2016 ... Gesichts- und Stimmerkennung mit Passwörtern     ... MESG ), ein führender Anbieter digitaler ... mit SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um erstmals dessen Biometrietechnologie ... die Möglichkeit angeboten, im Rahmen mobiler Apps ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 , ... ... of Dr. Nancy Gillett to its Board of Directors. Dr. Gillett recently retired ... Corporate Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer. A board-certified veterinary pathologist, Dr. ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... LONDON , May 3, 2016 ... Report Assessing Developers and Producers of Those Competitor Biologics  ... Guide to Companies, Activities and Prospects ,  ... drug companies? And what are their sales potentials? ... There you see results, trends, opportunities and revenue forecasting. ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 , ... Nashville Fertility ... laboratories. A contingency of reproductive endocrinologists, including Dr. George Hill at ... and to help them build families. , Ovation Fertility is a nationwide network ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... StarNet Communications Corp, ( http://www.starnet.com/ ) a ... three Secure Remote Desktop modules to its flagship X-Win32 PC X server. The ... servers to the user’s PC over encrypted SSH. , Traditionally, users of PC X ...
Breaking Biology Technology: