a1 Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA
Non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections are increasingly detected, but sources are not well established. We summarize outbreaks to 2010 in the USA. Single-aetiology outbreaks were defined as ≥2 epidemiologically linked culture-confirmed non-O157 STEC infections; multiple-aetiology outbreaks also had laboratory evidence of ≥2 infections caused by another enteric pathogen. Twenty-six states reported 46 outbreaks with 1727 illnesses and 144 hospitalizations. Of 38 single-aetiology outbreaks, 66% were caused by STEC O111 (n = 14) or O26 (n = 11), and 84% were transmitted through food (n = 17) or person-to-person spread (n = 15); food vehicles included dairy products, produce, and meats; childcare centres were the most common setting for person-to-person spread. Of single-aetiology outbreaks, a greater percentage of persons infected by Shiga toxin 2-positive strains had haemolytic uraemic syndrome compared with persons infected by Shiga toxin 1-only positive strains (7% vs. 0·8%). Compared with single-aetiology outbreaks, multiple-aetiology outbreaks were more frequently transmitted through water or animal contact.
(Received September 16 2013)
(Revised November 15 2013)
(Accepted November 27 2013)