E. coli O157 phage type 21/28 outbreak in North Cumbria associated with pasteurized milk

S. Goh*, C. Newman, M. Knowles, F. J. Bolton, V. Hollyoak, S. Richards, P. Daley, D. Counter, H. R. Smith, N. Keppie

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    38 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    In March 1999, a large community outbreak of Escherichia coli O157 infection occurred in North Cumbria. A total of 114 individuals were reported to the Outbreak Control Team (OCT); 88 had laboratory confirmed E. coli O157. Twenty-eight (32%) of the confirmed cases were admitted to hospital, including three children (3.4%) with haemolytic uraemic syndrome. There were no deaths. A case-control study found that illness was strongly associated with drinking pasteurized milk from a local farm (P=<0.0001) on single variable analysis. Microbiological investigations at the farm revealed E. coli O157 phage type (PT) 21/28 VT 2 which was indistinguishable from the human isolates by pulsed field gel electrophoresis. At the time of occurrence this was the largest E. coli O157 outbreak in England and Wales and the first E. coli O157 PT 21/28 VT 2 outbreak associated with pasteurized milk. This outbreak highlights lessons to be learnt regarding on-farm pasteurization.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)451-457
    Number of pages7
    JournalEpidemiology and Infection
    Volume129
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2002

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