Review and Response of Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli infection

Tsung-Pei Tsou1, Jung-Jung Mu1, Ji-Jia Huang2, Pei-Jung Chen3, Wan-Ting Huang3, Ho-Sheng Wu1

2011 Vol.27 NO.12

Correspondence Author: Tsung-Pei Tsou


Since May, 2011, Germany had reported a significantly increasing trend on cases of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) infection and haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS). Afterward a number of European countries had reported cases linked to this outbreak, and most cases had travel history to Germany. As of June 15, Germany had reported 2,518 cases of EHEC infection (without HUS) and 786 HUS cases with 38 fatalities. Other European countries had reported a total of 69 EHEC cases and 36 HUS cases leading to one fatal [1]. Approximate 70% of cases were in females and most were in the group aged 20–49 years. The pathogen was identified as enteroaggregative verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli O104:H4 bacterium. According to epidemiological findings, German officials announced that the vehicle of infection was contaminated bean and seed sprouts.
The current event represents the largest outbreak of EHEC infection in recent years that resulted in dozens of deaths, as well as made great economic loss due to difficulties in epidemiological investigations and fail in prompt determination of the infective source. This article will introduce the domestic and international situation in epidemiology and surveillance of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli infection.