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Escherichia coli serotype O157:H7: novel vehicles of infection and emergence of phenotypic variants.
  • Published Date:
    1995 Apr-Jun
  • Source:
    Emerg Infect Dis. 1(2):47-52.
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    Escherichia coli serotype O157:H7 was only recognized as a human pathogen a little more than a decade ago, yet it has become a major foodborne pathogen. In the United States, the severity of serotype O157:H7 infections in the young and the elderly has had a tremendous impact on human health, the food industry, and federal regulations regarding food safety. The implication of acidic foods as vehicles of infection has dispelled the concept that low-pH foods are safe. Further, the association of nonbovine products with outbreaks suggests that other vehicles of transmission may exist for this pathogen. In laboratory diagnosis, most microbiologic assays rely on a single phenotype to selectively isolate this pathogen. However, the increasing evidence that phenotypic variations exist among isolates in this serogroup may eventually necessitate modifications in assay procedures to detect them.

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