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:6/25/2016)... ... ... of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible lice infestation, as reported ... head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human host, and to infest ... in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. , As lice are ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, ... Bronze Wellness at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in ... the 7th annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her ... would lash out at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he ... he would use it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say he ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and ... that call for a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then ... will restore the lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... feeding the Frederick area economy by obtaining investment capital for emerging technology companies. ... 2½ years that have already resulted in more than a million dollars of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016   Pulmatrix, Inc ., (NASDAQ: ... drugs, announced today that it was added to the ... its comprehensive set of U.S. and global equity indexes ... important milestone for Pulmatrix," said Chief Executive Officer ... our progress in developing drugs for crucial unmet medical ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Arkis BioSciences, ... less invasive and more durable cerebrospinal fluid treatments, ... funding.  The Series-A funding is led by Innova ... Fund, and other private investors.  Arkis, new financing ... instrumentation and the market release of its in-licensed ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets has ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... for the patients with kidney failure, it replaces the function ... the patient,s blood and thus the treatment helps to keep ... in balance. Increasing number of ESRD patients ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: