E. coli

Mike the Mad Biologist

Category archives for E. coli

STEC Surveillance: UR DOING IT WRONG?

There’s some good news and bad news regarding E. coli surveillance in meat products. The good news: The pathogenic Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia Coli (pSTEC) serotypes known collectively as the “Big Six” will soon be banned from U.S. meat, a top expert told a meat industry conference Thursday. Action to declare the six non-O157:H7 serotypes as…

Update/clarification: I want to clarify something critical. This is not about picking on a researcher or a country. It very well could have happened in the U.S. or anywhere else. I, nor you the reader, have any idea about the internal constraints these groups experience, or what was communicated to government officials. To the extent…

I recently was in a conversation with a collaborator who isn’t in the genomics biz, and said collaborator remarked that there was a lot of online criticism of the quality of the genomic data that has been generated for the E. coli O104:H4 outbreak isolates. I’ve been following it very closely (not surprised by that,…

In light of the recent E. coli outbreak in Germany that has killed nearly forty people, one would think the U.S. would be strengthening, not weakening microbiological surveillance in agriculture. One would be very, very wrong: At a time of rising concern over pathogens in produce, Congress is moving to eliminate the only national program…

Consider this a post wherein I engage in some speculation, and hope that I’m very, very wrong. You see, the ‘German’ E. coli O104:H4 outbreak (‘HUSEC041′) has taken a confusing turn: The strain of E. coli blamed for 46 deaths in Germany appears to have resurfaced in France, the French Ministry of Health said. The…

Regarding the German outbreak strain of E. coli, the data are fairly clear: it is an enteroaggregative E. coli (‘EAEC’) which has acquired antibiotic resistance genes and a Shiga-like toxin from an Shiga-toxinogenic E. coli (‘STEC’). EAEC are interesting–according to the European Food Safety Authority: EAEC have been implicated as a cause of persistent diarrhea…

Note that I said cranky, not mad. Mad is reserved for moral degenerates who cut funding to assist people with cerebral palsy. But cranky? Yes. Recently, I’ve come across a couple of papers that describe interesting collections of E. coli. For example, one paper isolated a bunch of E. coli from soil and water in…

Some O104:H4 Links

Here are some O104:H4 links. The E.coli O104:H4 Genome Analysis Crowdsourcing wiki is also a good source of the latest scientific information. Anyway, links: TGAC helps in crowd-sourcing analysis of E. coli strain Possible T6SS in EAEC 55989 is absent from TY2482 genome? STEC/EHEC outbreak – horizontally transferred genes Phage analysis of German E. coli…

Or maybe wild-ass speculation. As the data continue to come in about the E. coli outbreak in Germany caused by E. coli O104:H4 HUSEC041 (well, everything but the public health and epidemiological data which are a contradictory, incoherent mess), it appears that one of the things that has made this strain so dangerous is its…

After Friday’s post, I’ve held off on writing much about the German E. coli outbreak, often referred to by its serotype, O104:H4, or as HUSEC041 (HUS stands for hemolytic uremic syndrome). Having had the weekend to digest some of the ongoing analysis and news reports, here are some additional thoughts: 1) The multilocus sequence type…