An outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O148 infection occurred among wedding attendees in France in June 2002. A retrospective cohort study was performed and ten cases were identified, including two adults with haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS). The analytical study revealed that > 80% of affected individuals had eaten lightly roasted mutton and poultry pate, but only the consumption of pate tended to be associated with illness (relative risk 3.4; 95% CI 0.8-14.4). Left-overs (cooked mutton and raw offal) and processed foods (pate) from the same batches as served at the party were sampled. Human, food and environmental samples were examined for the Shiga toxin (stx) gene and virulence traits by PCR. Stx-positive samples were cultured for STEC. HUS cases were tested for serum antibodies against 26 major STEC serogroups. An STEC O26 strain (stx1, eae, ehxA) was isolated from one case with diarrhoea, and an STEC O148 strain (stx2c) from one case of HUS. Serum antibodies against O26 were not detected in either of these patients; antibodies against O148 were not tested. Three STEC strains were isolated from the mutton and the offal (stx2c, O148), and two from the pate (stx2c, O-X and O-Y). The isolates from the mutton were indistinguishable from the human stx2c isolate, whereas the pate isolates differed. Although four different STEC strains were identified in patients and foods, the results of molecular subtyping, in conjunction with analysis of food consumption patterns, strongly suggested that this outbreak was caused by mutton contaminated with STEC O148.
Auteur : Espie E, Grimont F, Vaillant V, Montet MP, Carle I, Bavai C, de Valk H, Vernozy Rozand C
Clinical microbiology and infection, 2006, vol. 12, n°. 10, p. 992-8