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Germany: New and deadly strain of E. coli

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Sir Loin

Well-known member
Dec 6, 2010
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Germany: New and deadly strain of E. coli

An outbreak of infections by a new and deadly strain of E. coli, confined primarily to Germany, has been untreatable, except for supportive measures such as hydration and dialysis because, when antibiotics kill the organism, it releases a toxin that destroys the patient's kidneys. However, in the last few days a new treatment with an antibody appears to be successful although prohibitively expensive.
It is believed the pathogen is carried on vegetable sprouts of the kind used in salads, but that is still uncertain.

Where has this strain come from?
Germany, specifically the north, is the geographical source. The source appears to be contaminated salad vegetables. Initially scientists thought cucumbers were the source of infection, however, this has not been confirmed. Other foods are now being investigated.
How could salad vegetables become infected with a gut bacteria?
Fertiliser could be the prime source of infection, while irrigation water from streams contaminated with faeces from infected animals could also be to blame. Cattle, for instance, can carry E.coli in their guts without becoming il
Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8553303/German-E.coli-outbreak-QandA.html

Update: German investigators now affirm the E. coli pathogen was borne on sprouts. The claim is based on epidemiological evidence; they have no laboratory proof.

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