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1.  A multistate outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections linked to alfalfa sprouts grown from contaminated seeds. 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2001;7(6):977-982.
A multistate outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections occurred in the United States in June and July 1997. Two concurrent outbreaks were investigated through independent case-control studies in Michigan and Virginia and by subtyping isolates with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Isolates from 85 persons were indistinguishable by PFGE. Alfalfa sprouts were the only exposure associated with E. coli O157:H7 infection in both Michigan and Virginia. Seeds used for sprouting were traced back to one common lot harvested in Idaho. New subtyping tools such as PFGE used in this investigation are essential to link isolated infections to a single outbreak.
PMCID: PMC2631892  PMID: 11747724
2.  Factors contributing to the emergence of Escherichia coli O157 in Africa. 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2001;7(5):812-819.
In 1992, a large outbreak of bloody diarrhea caused by Escherichia coli O157 infections occurred in southern Africa. In Swaziland, 40,912 physician visits for diarrhea in persons ages >5 years were reported during October through November 1992. This was a sevenfold increase over the same period during 1990-91. The attack rate was 42% among 778 residents we surveyed. Female gender and consuming beef and untreated water were significant risks for illness. E. coli O157:NM was recovered from seven affected foci in Swaziland and South Africa; 27 of 31 patient and environmental isolates had indistinguishable pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns. Compared with previous years, a fivefold increase in cattle deaths occurred in October 1992. The first heavy rains fell that same month (36 mm), following 3 months of drought. Drought, carriage of E. coli O157 by cattle, and heavy rains with contamination of surface water appear to be important factors contributing to this outbreak.
PMCID: PMC2631888  PMID: 11747693
4.  Food-related illness and death in the United States. 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  1999;5(5):607-625.
To better quantify the impact of foodborne diseases on health in the United States, we compiled and analyzed information from multiple surveillance systems and other sources. We estimate that foodborne diseases cause approximately 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths in the United States each year. Known pathogens account for an estimated 14 million illnesses, 60, 000 hospitalizations, and 1,800 deaths. Three pathogens, Salmonella, Listeria, and Toxoplasma, are responsible for 1,500 deaths each year, more than 75% of those caused by known pathogens, while unknown agents account for the remaining 62 million illnesses, 265,000 hospitalizations, and 3,200 deaths. Overall, foodborne diseases appear to cause more illnesses but fewer deaths than previously estimated.
PMCID: PMC2627714  PMID: 10511517
5.  Factory outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infection in Japan. 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  1999;5(3):424-428.
To determine the cause of a July 1996 outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 among factory workers in Kyoto, Japan, we conducted cohort and case-control studies. Eating radish sprout salad during lunch at the factory cafeteria had been linked to illness. The sprouts were traced to four growers in Japan; one had been associated with an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 among 6,000 schoolchildren in Sakai earlier in July.
PMCID: PMC2640759  PMID: 10341179
6.  Recurrent outbreaks of Salmonella Enteritidis infections in a Texas restaurant: phage type 4 arrives in the United States. 
Epidemiology and Infection  1996;117(1):29-34.
In recent years infection caused by Salmonella serotype Enteritidis (SE) phage type 4 has spread through Europe but has been uncommon in the USA. The first recognized outbreak of this strain in the USA occurred in a Chinese restaurant in EI Paso, Texas, in April 1993; no source was identified. In September 1993, a second outbreak caused by SE phage type 4 was associated with the same restaurant. To determine the cause of the second outbreak, we compared food exposures of the 19 patients with that of two control groups. Egg rolls were the only item significantly associated with illness in both analyses (first control group: odds ratio [OR] 8.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.3-31.6; second control group: OR 13.1, 95% CI 2.1-97.0). Retrospective analysis of the April outbreak also implicated egg rolls (OR 32.4, 95% CI 9.1-126.6). Egg roll batter was made from pooled shell eggs and was left at room temperature throughout the day. These two outbreaks of SE phage type 4 likely could have been prevented by using pasteurized eggs and safe food preparation practices.
PMCID: PMC2271674  PMID: 8760947
8.  An outbreak of cholera from food served on an international aircraft. 
Epidemiology and Infection  1996;116(1):9-13.
In February 1992, an outbreak of cholera occurred among persons who had flown on a commercial airline flight from South America to Los Angeles. This study was conducted to determine the magnitude and the cause of the outbreak. Passengers were interviewed and laboratory specimens were collected to determine the magnitude of the outbreak. A case-control study was performed to determine the vehicle of infection. Seventy-five of the 336 passengers in the United States had cholera; 10 were hospitalized and one died. Cold seafood salad, served between Lima, Peru and Los Angeles, California was the vehicle of infection (odds ratio, 11.6; 95% confidence interval, 3.3-44.5). This was the largest airline-associated outbreak of cholera ever reported and demonstrates the potential for airline-associated spread of cholera from epidemic areas to other parts of the world. Physicians should obtain a travel history and consider cholera in patients with diarrhoea who have travelled from cholera-affected countries. This outbreak also highlights the risks associated with eating cold foods prepared in cholera-affected countries.
PMCID: PMC2271246  PMID: 8626007
10.  Screening for Escherichia coli O157:H7--a nationwide survey of clinical laboratories. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1995;33(12):3275-3277.
The Association of State and Territorial Public Health Laboratory Directors has recommended that clinical laboratories screen at least all bloody stools for Escherichia coli O157:H7. We contacted the microbiology supervisors of 230 randomly selected clinical laboratories in the United States and administered a standardized questionnaire regarding stool culture practices. Of the 129 laboratories that performed stool cultures, only 70 (54%) reported screening either all stools or all bloody stools submitted for culture for E. coli O157:H7.
PMCID: PMC228687  PMID: 8586716
11.  Association between alpha-hemolysin production and HeLa cell-detaching activity in fecal isolates of Escherichia coli. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1995;33(10):2707-2709.
Escherichia coli isolates that cause detachment of cell monolayers during in vitro adherence assays (cell-detaching E. coli [CDEC]) were recently reported as a potential new group of enteropathogenic bacteria. In the present study, 269 E. coli isolates from feces of children 1 to 5 years of age were identified as CDEC in a detaching assay developed with HeLa cells. The great majority of these isolates were hemolytic within 3 h of growth on blood agar plates and hybridized with a DNA probe for alpha-hemolysin (93.7%), while most of the non-detaching isolates were hemolytic within 24 h (3.6%) or nonhemolytic (94.8%). E. coli isolates that produced alpha-hemolysin were found in 60 (30%) of 200 children with diarrhea and 47 (24%) of 200 age-matched controls. No statistical significance was found for the differences in alpha-hemolysin production among the matched pairs (P = 0.2). These data suggest that CDEC isolates are not associated with diarrhea in the population studied.
PMCID: PMC228560  PMID: 8567910
12.  Laboratory investigation of a multistate food-borne outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 by using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and phage typing. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1994;32(12):3013-3017.
Two hundred thirty-three isolates of Escherichia coli O157:H7 were analyzed by both pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and bacteriophage typing. All 26 isolates from persons whose illness was associated with a recent multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections linked to the consumption of undercooked hamburgers and all 27 isolates from incriminated lots of hamburger meat had the same phage type and the same PFGE pattern. Twenty-five of 74 E. coli O157:H7 isolates from Washington State and 10 of 27 isolates from other states obtained during the 6 months before the outbreak had the same phage type as the outbreak strain, but only 1 isolate had the same PFGE pattern. PFGE thus appeared to be a more sensitive method than bacteriophage typing for distinguishing outbreak and non-outbreak-related strains. The PFGE patterns of seven preoutbreak sporadic isolates and five sporadic isolates from the outbreak period differed from that of the outbreak strain by a single band, making it difficult to identify these isolates as outbreak or non-outbreak related. Phage typing and PFGE with additional enzymes were helpful in resolving this problem. While not as sensitive as PFGE, phage typing was helpful in interpreting PFGE data and could have been used as a simple, rapid screen to eliminate the need for performing PFGE on unrelated isolates.
PMCID: PMC264217  PMID: 7883892
13.  Isolation of Escherichia coli serotype O157:H7 and other Shiga-like-toxin-producing E. coli from dairy cattle. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1991;29(5):985-989.
We examined 1,266 fecal specimens from healthy cattle during the investigations of two sporadic cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome associated with raw milk consumption and an outbreak of gastroenteritis and hemolytic uremic syndrome caused by Escherichia coli serotype O157:H7. We collected specimens from heifers, calves, and adult cows on 22 farms, in a stockyard, and in a packing house. We also collected 3 raw hamburger specimens from a restaurant and 23 raw milk samples from two farms. All specimens were examined for E. coli O157:H7 by using sorbitol-MacConkey agar, H immobilization, O157 agglutination, and tissue culture cytotoxicity. E. coli O157:H7 was isolated from 16 heifers or calves and 1 adult cow on 22 farms, 1 stockyard calf, 2 beef specimens, and 1 raw milk sample. Selected fecal specimens were also examined for the presence of other Shiga-like-toxin-producing E. coli (SLTEC) by testing polymyxin B extracts of colony sweeps and then testing individual colonies for toxin production. SLTEC other than O157 was isolated from 8 of 10 farms investigated and from the stockyard; 8% of adult cows and 19% of heifers and calves were positive for SLTEC. Several animals were positive for SLTEC by colony sweep only. This investigation demonstrates that dairy cattle are a reservoir of E. coli O157:H7 and other SLTEC.
PMCID: PMC269920  PMID: 2056066
14.  A cluster of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections with the hemolytic-uremic syndrome and death in California. A mandate for improved surveillance. 
Western Journal of Medicine  1996;165(1-2):15-19.
In mid-January 1993, an outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections associated with eating hamburger patties at a fast-food restaurant chain (chain A) was reported in Washington State. From mid-December to mid-January, 9 cases of E coli O157:H7-associated bloody diarrhea and the hemolytic-uremic syndrome had been reported in San Diego County, California. A total of 34 persons had bloody diarrhea, the hemolytic-uremic syndrome, or E coli O157:H7 organisms isolated from stool during the period November 15, 1992, through January 31, 1993. Organisms of E coli O157:H7 identified from 6 persons were indistinguishable from those of the Washington outbreak strain. Illness was associated with eating at chain A restaurants in San Diego (odds ratio, 13; 95% confidence interval, 1.7, 99) and with eating regular-sized hamburgers (odds ratio, undefined; lower-limit 95% confidence interval, 1.3). Improved surveillance by mandating laboratory- and physician-based reporting of cases of E coli O157:H7 infection and the hemolytic-uremic syndrome might have alerted health officials to this outbreak sooner, which could have resulted in earlier investigation and the institution of measures to prevent more cases.
PMCID: PMC1307535  PMID: 8855679
15.  Campylobacter hyointestinalis associated with human gastrointestinal disease in the United States. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1987;25(4):685-691.
Campylobacter hyointestinalis was isolated from stool specimens of four persons, all of whom were experiencing nonbloody, watery diarrhea. The youngest (8 months of age) and the oldest (79 years of age) individuals were females, and the other two were homosexual men. C. hyointestinalis was the only clinically significant pathogen isolated from stool specimens for three of the individuals. In case 3 (involving a 37-year-old homosexual man), Entamoeba histolytica and Shigella sonnei were also present in the stool. The identification of all C. hyointestinalis strains was made biochemically and confirmed by DNA hybridization. This study documented the isolation of C. hyointestinalis from four patients with diarrhea, and our findings suggest that the clinical significance of Campylobacter species must be expanded to include C. hyointestinalis as a potential cause of human gastrointestinal disease.
PMCID: PMC266060  PMID: 3571477

Results 1-15 (15)