We pooled data on adults who reported diarrhea or developed life-threatening hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) in any of 6 closed cohorts from 4 countries (1 cohort each in Denmark, France, and Sweden and 3 in Germany) that were investigated during a large outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O104:H4 infection in 2011. Logistic regression and Weibull regression for interval censored data were used to assess the relation of age and sex with clinical outcome and with incubation period. Information on the latter was used in a nonparametric back-projection context to estimate when adult cases reported in Germany were exposed to STEC O104:H4. Overall, data from 119 persons (median age, 49 years; 80 women) were analyzed. Bloody diarrhea and HUS were recorded as the most severe outcome for 44 and 26 individuals, respectively. Older age was significantly associated with bloody diarrhea but not with HUS. Woman had nonsignificantly higher odds for bloody diarrhea (odds ratio = 1.81) and developing HUS (odds ratio = 1.83) than did men. Older participants had a statistically significantly reduced incubation period. The shortest interval that included 75% of exposures in adults spanned only 12 days and preceded outbreak detection. In conclusion, the frequency of bloody diarrhea but not of HUS and the length of the incubation period depended on the age of individuals infected with STEC O104:H4. A large number of people were exposed to STEC O104:H4 for a short period of time.
Auteur : Werber D, King LA, Muller L, Follin P, Buchholz U, Bernard H, Rosner B, Ethelberg S, de Valk H, Höhle M
American Journal of Epidemiology, 2013, vol. 178, n°. 6, p. 984-92