Navigation Links
Deadly E. Coli Strain in Europe Should Serve as Warning, Experts Say
Date:6/3/2011

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- The emergence of an unusually dangerous strain of E. coli bacteria in Europe should serve as a red flag for U.S. health officials, experts say.

"Bacteria are constantly mutating and changing. They're not necessarily becoming more severe, but they are becoming more different," said Dr. Bruce Hirsch, an attending physician in infectious diseases at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y. "The fact that a strain can pop up like this and cause hundreds of cases and scores of mortalities [shows that] we have to be ever ready for the emergence of new strains."

Hirsch added that he thought it was "extremely unlikely" that this particular strain of E. coli would cross the Atlantic. One possible reason: little produce -- believed to be the source of the contamination -- is imported to the United States from Europe.

"So far, it looks like a European problem," added Vernon Tesh, associate chair of microbial and molecular pathogenesis at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine in Bryan.

In Europe, the E. coli outbreak has killed 18 people and sickened at least 1,600, primarily in northern Germany, which appears to be the epicenter of the problem. The illness is unusually severe, with some 500 -- or nearly a third of those affected -- developing a potentially life-threatening kidney problem called hemolytic uremic syndrome.

This compares to about 10 percent of people developing acute renal failure from the more common form of E. coli 0157:H7, Tesh said. The German strain is 0104:H4.

There have been a handful of cases reported in the United States, but only among travelers who have returned from Germany.

The new strain is also unusual in that it seems to be hitting primarily women and adults rather than children and the elderly.

"This one is new, and it's much more severe," said Hirsch.

"It's alarming," Tesh added. "We really don't want to deal with this microorganism."

Early research suggests that the new lethal strain evolved from two different E. coli bacteria with aggressive genes.

"These E. coli are extremely plastic [flexible] in their genome. They're able to move pieces of DNA around so they can acquire new genes," Tesh said. "It looks to me that we're seeing is a strain of E. coli that has acquired not only the toxin gene but it's acquired a set of genes that allows it to adhere quite efficiently to the human intestinal tract."

Consumers should take the same precautions with food they always have, Tesh advised, which means keeping meat, particularly raw hamburger or raw beef, separate from other foods, washing cutting boards after they've had meat on them and washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, E. coli is a common bacteria that lives in the intestines of animals and people. There are many strains of E. coli. Most are harmless.

But other strains, such E. coli O157:H7 can cause sickness. Some people, especially children under 5 and the elderly, can become very sick. The infection damages their red blood cells and their kidneys. This only happens to about 1 out of 50 people, but it is serious. Without hospital care, they can die. See a doctor right away if you think you may have gotten sick from E. coli O157:H7, the CDC advises.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have more on E. coli.

SOURCES: Vernon Tesh, Ph.D., professor and associate chair, microbial and molecular pathogenesis, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, Bryan; Bruce Hirsch, M.D., attending physician, infectious diseases, North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, N.Y.


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. 29 Clear Channel stations Nationwide Raise Nearly $2.8 Million to Help Save the Lives of Kids Fighting Cancer and Other Deadly Diseases
2. VARI findings may help patients with deadly kidney cancer
3. MSU researcher links potentially deadly infection, frequent cow exposure
4. ACR, SBI: Avon Survey Reveals Potentially Deadly Effects of USPSTF Mammography Recommendations
5. Protecting the brain from of a deadly genetic disease
6. Protecting the brain from a deadly genetic disease
7. Scanning for skin cancer: Infrared system looks for deadly melanoma
8. New Treatment Eyed for Deadly Pancreatic Cancer
9. Inhalant Abuse a Deadly Middle-School Concern
10. Victims of Contaminated Meat Call on USDA to Address Deadly Pathogens
11. Targeted agent blocked growth of deadly brain cancer in preclinical studies
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Deadly <i>E. Coli</i> Strain in Europe Should Serve as Warning, Experts Say
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Apple ... care services, staged a mock evacuation of the facility as part of a disaster ... Fire Department, Echo Hose EMS and Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well as the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s ... Alexandria Park in Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s ... The fun run is geared towards children of all ages; it is a ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the ... danger possible to save lost souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains ... a dedicated teacher of the Bible. She has taught all ages and currently teaches ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and ... plans to open a flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway ... store next to Office Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Asante, a nationally recognized health system in ... existing home health joint venture through an agreement, effective October 1, 2017, to ... home health company with Asante, delivering clinically integrated care, for the past eight ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... -- NDS received FDA 510(k) clearance in May 2017 for its highly ... designed for endoscopy environments. An innovative secondary monitor solution, ZeroWire ... support the improvement of patient outcomes, procedural efficiency, and the lowering ... ... ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... 4, 2017  South Korean-based healthcare product Development Company ... "cprCUBE" on Kickstarter. The device will educate the user ... with better efficiency compared to the dated and pricey ... on efficacy of the compression for a more informed ... goal to raise $5,000. ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2017  Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: ... third quarter of 2017 on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. ... day with the investment community and media to further ... call will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern time. Investors, ... webcast of the conference call through a link that ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: