Shiga-toxin producing E. coli: Another reason to avoid pigeon poop

Verotoxigenic Escherichia coli infections in humans cause disease ranging from uncomplicated intestinal illnesses to bloody diarrhea and systemic sequelae, such as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Previous research indicated that pigeons may be a reservoir for a population of verotoxigenic E. coli producing the VT2f variant.

pigeon-poop-shamelessWe used whole-genome sequencing to characterize a set of VT2f-producing E. coli strains from human patients with diarrhea or HUS and from healthy pigeons. We describe a phage conveying the vtx2f genes and provide evidence that the strains causing milder diarrheal disease may be transmitted to humans from pigeons.

The strains causing HUS could derive from VT2f phage acquisition by E. coli strains with a virulence genes asset resembling that of typical HUS-associated verotoxigenic E. coli.

Whole-genome characterization and strain comparison of VT2f-producing Escherichia coli causing hemolytic uremic syndrome

Emerging Infectious Diseases, December 2016, Volume 22, Number 12, https://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2212.160017

http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/22/12/16-0017_article

E. coli: Event raises $50K for South Dakota boy

Jake Shama of the Mitchell Republic reports that watching 6-year-old Eagan Hudson playing darts, eating candy and running around the Tyndall Community Center on Saturday, one would never guess he’d been released from the hospital just one month earlier.

egan-hudsonBon Homme County residents and others from as far away as Wisconsin filled the community center and raised more than $50,000 during the benefit for Eagan and his family, according to James Torsney, one of the event’s organizers.

The benefit was held to help pay medical bills, which the family incurred when Eagan was taken to Sanford Children’s Hospital in Sioux Falls for treatment of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), believed to be caused by an E. coli infection.

“It was really hard, and I had to go through lots of pain. It was not fun,” said Eagan, of Tyndall. “I just had all those doctors help me, and everything went good.”

Eagan and his brother, Kalem, 4, contracted E. coli in the middle of September. Kalem’s illness was resolved fairly quickly, his parents said, but Eagan’s condition didn’t improve. By Oct. 6, platelet and kidney tests raised red flags, and doctors sent Eagan to Sioux Falls for treatment.

Three days later, Eagan suffered a stroke, which temporarily prevented him from moving his right arm and leg, and he started having seizures the following morning.

Doctors had medication flown in from six hours away, and Eagan was sedated for 10 days, during which he was given nonstop dialysis treatments.

Jamaican beef patties recalled over E. coli in Canada 26.nov.16

Several Jamaican beef patty products sold across Southern Ontario have been recalled due to E. coli contamination.

jamaican-pattyMarkham-based Michidean Limited (that’s in Ontario, which is in Canada) is voluntarily recalling the following products:

  • 16320 Michidean JA PATTY Extra Spicy Beef (frozen unbaked)
  • 16320 Michidean JA PATTY Extra Spicy Beef (baked)

Customers should not eat the recalled products, said a release from York Region.

Food contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick, noted the release. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, mild to severe abdominal cramps and watery to bloody diarrhea.

So far, there are no reports of any illnesses related to the beef patties.

Petting zoo: Minnesota 10-year-old awarded $7.55 million in E. coli settlement

Maury Glover of Fo 9 reports a jury awarded $7.5 million to a Rosemount, Minnesota family after a young girl contracted E. coli from a petting zoo at Dehn’s Pumpkins in Dayton.

emma-rosemount-girl-e-coli_1479962267763_2325612_ver1-0_640_360In 2013, Emma Heidish spent a month overcoming a potentially deadly form of kidney disease which cause her kidneys to shut down and required surgery and near constant dialysis.

On Tuesday, a Hennepin County jury found the owners of the farm where she got E. coli, Dehn’s Pumpkins in Dayton, negligent for not taking steps to prevent their animals from transmitting diseases and awarded Emma $7.5 million.

Emma was one of seven people sickened in an October 2013 E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked by the Minnesota Department of Health to cows in the animal attraction  at Dehn’s Pumpkins, LLC, a business located in Dayton, MN.

The bulk of the money is for future medical bills and pain and suffering.

“It is one of the largest verdicts in the country for an E. coli outbreak for a condition like this one and its one of the largest involving a petting zoo case,” Emma’s attorney, Fred Pritzker, said. “The people who run the pumpkin patch are decent people. It’s not that they were mean spirited. But, what they didn’t know caused a great deal of pain and suffering for my clients.”

Since the outbreak, the popular pumpkin patch no longer operates a petting zoo, but Pritzker sais animal attractions like it are not regulated or inspected.

His firm will push for a new law, named after Emma, requiring petting zoos to follow safety precautions, like having hand washing stations nearby to help prevent the spread of the disease.

“There have been 150 to 200 cases of outbreaks involving animals in public settings in the last 15 years, Pritzker said

Pritzker says Emma probably won’t see all the money because the farm’s insurance doesn’t have that much coverage.

A table of petting zoo outbreaks (which needs to be updatd) is available at http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Petting-Zoo-Outbreaks-Table-4-8-14.xlsx

Raw (milk) is risky: Scotch and a smoke for your 5-year-old?

In April 1986, three classes of kindergarten and pre-K schoolchildren visited a dairy farm near Sarnia, Ontario (that’s in Canada, although it feels like grungy U.S.).

colbert-raw_-milk_1As recounted by David Waltner-Toews in his 1992 book, Food, Sex and Salmonella, “It was a typical Ontario farm, with 67 cows and calves, some chickens, some pigs, all well-cared for an clean, and seemed the perfect place to take a class of preschoolers. In April of 1986, 62 pre-school children and 12 supervising adults visited this farm. They played in the barn, petted the calves, pulled at the cows’ teats, and gathered a few eggs. For a break, they drank milk (right from the farmer’s tank!) and ate egg cookies (sliced hard-boiled eggs cleverly renamed to induce children to eat them). A good time was had by all.

“Within the next two weeks, 42 children and four adults came down with abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Three of the children ended up in the hospital with hemolytic uremic syndrome. One of the children fell into a coma. All eventually recovered. The bacterium blamed for these misfortunes called verotoxin-producing E. coli, or VTEC.

“Public health investigators looked everywhere on the farm. Although they found only two calves carrying the organism, they decided that exposure to the unpasteurized milk was the most plausible explanation for what they saw. And yet the farm family, which drank that milk every day, was apparently healthy and not shedding VTEC.”

The public health version states that “after extensive sampling at the farm the only samples that were positive for E. coil O157:H7 were stool samples taken from two calves at the dairy farm. Agriculture Canada veterinarians collected the animal stool samples and also checked the herd for Brucellosis.

“To control the spread of the E. coil the three classes were closed at the school for about three, weeks. All the affected children and their families were restricted in their contact with the community until the affected family member(s) has three successive negative stool samples. These restrictions imposed by the Lambton Health Unit quickly controlled the spread of the E. coll. Thus by mid-June all families were negative for E, coli and by mid-July the three children with HUS had returned home from the hospital.”

This outbreak was noteworthy in that dairy farms in Ontario stopped serving raw milk to visiting school children.

As one of my many dairy farmer friends have told me, when the schools visit, we go to town and buy some (pasteurized) milk.

Thirty years later and the same nonsense is still being debated, in Tasmania (that’s in Australia).

Rhiana Whitson of ABC News reported earlier this month a Tasmanian farmer who demonstrates milking cows to children, giving them a “squirt” from the udder, has fallen foul of health authorities who have warned he is at risk of losing his business if he does not stop.

huon-valley-caravan-park-aRowen Carter (left, exactly as shown) runs the Huon Valley Caravan Park, south of Hobart, which he said is “more than just a caravan park, we are a self-sufficient working farm that wants to teach people where real food comes from.”

Maybe Rowen should teach microbiology and Louis Pasteur.

Carter offers paying guests homemade Persian fetta made with raw milk, as well as a taste of raw cow’s milk straight from the udder’s teat.

“I squirt it in their mouth and then afterwards I appear with some plastic cups and show them the more couth way of tasting the fresh milk … everybody is amazed at how sweet and how nice it is,” Mr Carter said.

But his attempt to provide guests with an “old-fashioned farm experience” has landed him in trouble with the Tasmanian Dairy Industry Authority (TDIA).

Mr Carter denied selling raw milk and insisted his guests freely choose to sample it.

“It’s been taken away from us, the right to choose,” he said.

“I think people should be allowed to taste it … they don’t have to taste it, it’s their choice and it’s their choice to let their children have a taste.”

The sale of unpasteurised milk products for human consumption is illegal in Australia, however the use of raw milk in various products has continued with some arguing the risks have been overstated.

smoke-pancake-austinHealth authorities and experts have warned raw milk poses a health risk, especially to children. A boy died in 2014 after drinking raw milk, marketed as bath milk, labelled as being for “cosmetic use only”.

Mr Carter said the tasting of the milk straight from the cow was a “highlight of the day” for guests.

“There is always the question ‘can we do the milk squirting again tomorrow?’

“Now we have to tell them because it is deemed we are selling the milk, squirting is now no longer.

“How can something that brings so much joy be so wrong?”

Search raw milk on barfblog.com and find out how wrong it can be.

In a facebook post, Carter wrote, “I can legally allow you to sit at my dining room table and offer you a can of coke and a cigarette but I am unable to offer you a glass of fresh (raw) milk and a scone with clotted cream according to Tasmanian Dairy Industry Authority acting chairman Mark Sayer.”

Raw milk and other weird parental dietary preferences disproportionally affect the kids.

It’s always the kids.

Mr. Carter, drink all the raw milk you like, I don’t care, I provide information.

But as parents, we generally don’t have a scotch and a smoke with 5-year-olds.

And stop with the squirting references, especially around kids: it’s  just weird.

It’s still 1978 here in Australia; or 1803 in Tasmania.

Beware the Shiga-toxin producing E. coli in sheep shit: Goat yoga is a thing in Oregon

I’m really glad the folks in Portland, Oregon have stopped demonstrating about Dump-a-Trump, and are going back to their old ways – like having yoga with goats.

goat-yoga-portlandThe No Regrets Farm in Albany, Oregon, is offering what it calls Goat Yoga classes.

The sessions take place outside. While participants stretch and pose, the animals wander around or sit on mats and wait to be pet, said Lainey Morse, who owns and lives on the farm.

Morse launched the program last month, and it was an instant hit, she told The Huffington Post. The remaining two classes of the season have filled up already, and her waiting list for next year is more than 500 people long, she added.

Though people have been taking the class for a suggested donation of $10, that price will likely change in the future due to demand.

To sign up for a class, people can visit the Goat Yoga Facebook page, where the class schedule and updates are posted.

“They are gentle and peaceful and just want attention,” the farm owner told HuffPost of the goats.

People seem to enjoy their experiences with the class. In fact, one participant, a cancer patient, was flooded with emotion when taking it, according to Morse.

More microbiome (use it a lot in grant applications): Proteins secreted by beneficial gut microbes inhibit Salmonella, invasive E. coli

Few treatments exist for bacteria-caused intestinal inflammation that leads to diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. But University of California, Irvine microbiologists have demonstrated a new approach that may lead to more effective remedies.

activiaIn the journal Nature, Manuela Raffatellu, associate professor of microbiology & molecular genetics, and colleagues provide the first evidence that small protein molecules called microcins, produced by beneficial gut microbes, play a critical part in blocking certain illness-causing bacteria in inflamed intestines.

In their study, the researchers show that a probiotic strain of E. coli called Nissle 1917 utilizes microcins to inhibit the pathogen salmonella and an invasive form of E. coli (isolated from patients with inflammatory bowel disease).

“Although an in vivo role for microcins has been suggested for 40 years, it has never been convincingly demonstrated,” said Raffatellu, who’s affiliated with UCI’s Institute for Immunology. “We hypothesize that their role was missed because, as our data indicate, microcins do not seem effective in noninflamed intestines. In contrast, we show that in an inflamed intestine, microcins help a probiotic strain limit the growth of some harmful bacteria.”

She added that microcins are essential for the therapeutic activity of E. coli Nissle, and her next step is to purify microcins and test whether they can be given as targeted antibiotics.

Martina Sassone-Corsi, Sean-Paul Nuccio, Henry Liu, Dulcemaria Hernandez, Christine Vu, Amy Takahashi and Robert Edwards of UCI contributed to the study, which is abstracted at http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaap/ncurrent/full/nature20557.html

Latavia find dangerous E. coli in Biovela sausages

Inspectors of the Food and Veterinary Service have found Shiga-toxin producing E. coli in sausages made by Lithuanian meatpacking company Biovela UAB Mesos Perdirbimo Pagalynos (Biovela), reports LETA.

majas-desa-sausages-made-by-biovelaIlze Meistere, a spokeswoman for the Food and Veterinary Service, told LETA that the bacteria can cause severe diarrhea and hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS).

The Food and Veterinary Service has issued a warning to consumers, advising not to eat Majas Desa sausages made by Biovela. The expiry date of these sausages is January 22, 2017 and the barcode is 4770118401377.

Biovela has promised to recall all the contaminated sausages from stores by the end of this day.

Turkey holidaymakers hit with extreme vomiting at five-star resort leaving 11-week-old baby in hospital and man with kidney failure

Dozens of horrified holidaymakers have fallen seriously ill with a vomiting virus – that sounds more like Shiga toxin producing E. coli — after visiting a five-star holiday resort – including an 11-week old baby suffering severe dehydration and a man being hospitalised with kidney failure.

Overview

Overview

Over the past week The Sun has been inundated with calls from guests staying at the Liberty Lykia Hotel in Turkey throughout October claiming to have been affected by an “epidemic” sweeping the resort.

They’ve reported adults, kids and even babies projectile vomiting along pathways, in the swimming pool and in bushes – as well as many being unable to even leave their rooms after having been gripped by the sickness and diarrhoea bug.

Throughout October guests have been falling ill – but say staff at the hotel, and from Thomas Cook, have done nothing to stop it spreading and continue to deny there is a problem.

One guest, who arrived with another family on October 21 but have asked to remain anonymous, said her stepdaughter was “projectile vomiting” and suffering from diarrhoea within hours of getting to Turkey.

Within a few days four out of their group of six had been struck down with the bug.

The mum and others claim they were told they had to fork out 50 Euros to see the hotel doctor, or 100 Euros for the medic to visit them in their room.

She said: “They checked her pulse and said it was double what it should be and to call an ambulance for her straight away.

“They didn’t ask if we had insurance or an E111 or anything they just told us to bring our passports

“At the hospital they ran tests and put her on a drip, said she had a blood infection or something like gastroenteritis.

According to Thomas Cook it is “standard procedure” for customers to pay for a doctor’s visit and to claim the cost back through travel insurance.

Several families report having at least one family member being taken to hospital, while video footage shows young children being transported away by ambulance.

A safe food Halloween

No food safety dramas for us in Brisbane (unlike those at the cider mill in Kansas, more about that later), but thanks to our Alaskan hockey-playing friend Andy and his family for their annual party.

doug-andy-hockey-oct-16I decided to go as a hybrid of the two things hockey players hate most — a goaltender and a linesmen (now that I have my stripes) — while Andy opted for the more traditional Jason-approach.

amy-sorenne-halloween-oct-16The girls went traditional goth — Amy was a bloody baker while Sorenne had some spider thing going on — and, proving some of my genes did get transmitted down the family line, grandson Emerson went as a robot with a pail oh his head.

emerson-halloween-16