miércoles, 30 de abril de 2014

E. coli O101:H4 outbreak could have been spread on purpose or accidentally

Microbiological and forensic analyses are needed for a definite answer on the origin of this outbreak: 
A new analysis applied to Northern Europe’s deadly 2011 E. coli O101:H4 outbreak calls the official assumption that the pathogen, spread by “its natural origin,” is “questionable.” Further, the Serbian-German researchers say that neither accidental nor deliberate spreading of the pathogen can be ruled out as the cause.
The 2011 outbreak killed 53 people in an event that pushed local medical facilities, mostly in Germany, to their limits and tested the European Union’s Early Warning and Outbreak Response System. It began on May 1, 2011, and peaked around May 21-22, 2011. The Robert Koch Institute in Berlin declared the outbreak over on July 26, 2011.
In between those dates, there were 2,987 cases of E. coli O104:H4 that did not develop into Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) but still resulted in 18 deaths. And, of the 855 HUS cases, 35 were fatal.
Until now, the EU’S official explanation for the sudden and severe outbreak was the introduction of fenugreek sprouts from seeds imported from Egypt contaminated with the fairly new E. coli O104:H4 strain through normal commercial transactions.

In conclusion, after using three published models for the analysis of UEE, a generally accepted assumption the (outbreak) in 2011 was a natural one may not be accepted without reserve. This is the first time ever that an E. coli O104:H4 pathotype of a high virulence suddenly emerged, which may indicate an unnatural phenomenon. In the interest of the safety and biosecurity of food chains, further epidemiological, microbiological and forensic analyses are needed for a definite answer on the origin of this outbreak: ‘What was it, actually?.
Source: EFSA

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