SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • Escherichia coli O157:H7;
  • ecology;
  • environment;
  • water;
  • survival;
  • free-living protozoa

Abstract

Since its first description in 1982, the zoonotic life-threatening Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 has emerged as an important food- and water-borne pathogen that causes diarrhea, hemorrhagic colitis, and hemolytic-uremic syndrome in humans. In the last decade, increases in E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks were associated with environmental contamination in water and through fresh produce such as green leaves or vegetables. Both intrinsic (genetic adaptation) and extrinsic factors may contribute and help E. coli O157:H7 to survive in adverse environments. This makes it even more difficult to detect and monitor food and water safety for public health surveillance. E. coli O157:H7 has evolved in behaviors and strategies to persist in the environment.