E coli vaccine no longer available in UK

The E. coli vaccine produced by Bioniche and used by a number of National Farm Attractions Network members is no longer available.

HappyCow[1]Bioniche, the Canadian company that manufactured Econiche, and helped us import it into the UK, has sold its animal health arm to Ventoquinol, a French company who have now ceased production of Econiche.

Vetoquinol confirmed they have no plans to restart production at the present.

Scotch and a smoke with your kid? Raw milk fans cheer state laws

Bioethicist Arthur Caplan, head of the Division of Medical Ethics, at New York University, tells Today Health, “Adults drive, cliff dive and smoke, but they have to be informed about risks. The ethical considerations become much more difficult when kids are involved.”

colbert.raw.milkThat’s because kids disproportionately get sick from raw milk.

This past week, West Virginia — which, like many states, bans the direct-to-consumer sales of raw milk —joined other states in a growing movement called herd sharing, which allows citizens of the state to sign a contract with a farmer, buy shares of a cow, and then to pay the farmer to care for the animals and milk them. These shareholders then get the milk in all its raw glory.

“A lot of states are looking at raw milk sales in one way or another, including herdshares, which are sometimes called cowshares,” says Pete Kennedy, president of the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, a group which opposes the ban against interstate sale of raw milk. “But it’s tough trying to get legal or expanded access to (raw) milk for people who want it, and state by state, it can get a little crazy.”

That’s because back in the late 1980s, the Food and Drug Administration prohibited the distribution of raw milk across state lines for direct sale to consumers. But the U.S. can’t halt products being made within a state to be sold inside that state. That’s led to a patchwork of state laws governing the sale of raw milk.

SnakeOilIn California, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, among other states, you can buy raw milk straight from a retail shelf or farmer’s market, according to the advocacy group. But in New York and Massachusetts, for example, you have to go to a licensed farm to buy raw milk. In Illinois and Kansas you can buy from an unlicensed farm, but if you live in Florida, you can’t buy it at all, unless it’s for your pet.

Currently, the FDA, the World Health Organization, American Medical Association, American Veterinary Association, International Association for Food Protection, and the National Environmental Health Association advise against drinking raw milk, as does the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“People want to be more responsible for their sustainable environment and what they are putting into their bodies but they conflate the two issues because natural doesn’t always equal healthy,” says Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, professor of pediatrics at the Stanford University School of Medicine and lead author of the American Academy of Pediatric position statement on raw milk.

The dairy industry worries that illnesses from raw milk sales could damage public confidence in the safety of dairy products.

“I grew up on a dairy farm and anytime you start milking a cow I will tell you they start defecating, and it can get everywhere,” says Dr. Faith Critzer, a food microbiologist with the University of Tennessee and a food safety extension specialist for the state of Tennessee. “There are just too many points of contamination and pasteurization will get rid of contamination. It will save your life.”

“These are educated people and getting some to change their minds about raw milk is difficult,” she says. “But when things go wrong (with raw milk), they can go terribly wrong.”

Cattle poop can get into irrigation water: E. col and strawberries in Belgium

Strawberries are an important fruit in Belgium in both production and consumption, but little information is available about the presence of Salmonella and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in these berries, the risk factors in agricultural production, and possible specific mitigation options.

cow.poop2In 2012, a survey was undertaken of three soil and three soilless cultivation systems in Belgium. No Salmonella spp. were isolated. No STEC was detected in the strawberry samples (0 of 72), but STEC was detected by PCR in 11 of 78 irrigation water and 2 of 24 substrate samples. Culture isolates were obtained for 2 of 11 PCR-positive irrigation water samples and 2 of 2 substrate samples.

Multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed elevated generic E. coli numbers (the odds ratio [OR] for a 1 log increase being 4.6) as the most important risk factor for STEC, together with the berry-picking season (elevated risk in summer).

The presence of generic E. coli in the irrigation water (≥1 CFU per 100 ml) was mainly influenced by the type of irrigation water (collected rainfall water stored in ponds was more often contaminated than groundwater pumped from boreholes [OR = 5.8]) and the lack of prior treatment (untreated water versus water subjected to sand filtration prior to use [OR = 19.2]).

The follow-up study in 2013 at one of the producer locations indicated cattle to be the most likely source of STEC contamination of the irrigation water.

 Microbial Safety and Sanitary Quality of Strawberry Primary Production in Belgium: Risk Factors for Salmonella and Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli Contamination

Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Stefanie Delbeke, Siele Ceuppens, Claudia Titze Hessel, Irene Castro, Liesbeth Jacxsens, Lieven De Zutter, and Mieke Uyttendaele

http://aem.asm.org/content/81/7/2562.abstract?etoc

Always the kids: Health concerns after raw milk bill moves forward in W. Virginia

Lydia Nuzum of the Sunday Gazette – Mail writes that for Amy Nordyke, it seemed like the right choice. After researching ways to improve her family’s diet, she stumbled across the idea of consuming raw milk.

colbert.raw.milk“It was very convincing — that raw milk, under certain circumstances, could be a perfectly safe food to consume for all ages,” Nordyke said. “We just jumped right in and started consuming it.”

Nordyke, her husband and her children, who live near Fort Knox, Kentucky, had been consuming raw milk for nearly a decade when, in September 2014, Nordyke’s then 18-month-old son, Seamus, fell ill — first with bloody diarrhea, which quickly morphed into severe dehydration. Nordyke took him to a pediatrician and continued to monitor her son. When she realized Seamus was no longer urinating, she rushed him to her local hospital.

Seamus had developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a condition caused by the premature destruction of red blood cells that clog the kidneys and cause them to stop functioning properly. The condition turned out be a complication from contracting E. coli, a bacteria commonly found in contaminated food. In Seamus’ case it came from consuming raw milk.

Seamus wasn’t the only one affected, Nordyke said, three other children had been admitted to the hospital for HUS, and Nordyke recognized the parents of one from Facebook. They were also members of the food club Nordyke procured her raw milk from.

“It was hard for me to accept at first that something that I had actively sought out for so many years could have made my child sick, but after a certain point, I just couldn’t deny it anymore,” she said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 202 of the 239 hospitalizations involving tainted dairy products between 1993 and 2006 were linked to the consumption of raw milk or raw-milk cheese. More than 1,500 people were sickened by raw milk products in that time frame, according to the CDC. The CDC has also reported that unpasteurized milk is 150 times more likely to cause foodborne illness and results in 13 times more hospitalizations than illnesses involving pasteurized dairy products.

raw.milk.aust.cosmetic.dec.14There have been intermittent cases of raw milk contaminations over the years, but large-scale issues are rare, primarily because consuming raw milk is rare in the U.S., according to Dr. Art Rubin, interim health officer for the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.

“That’s been the problem in the Legislature,” Rubin said. “I think part of the reason these infections don’t look statistically significant is because there isn’t as much raw milk consumption, and I think if there were more, you’d start to see more side effects.”

Nordyke’s access to raw milk was the result of a loophole in Kentucky law. While the sale of raw milk in the state is illegal, there are no laws expressly prohibiting herd-sharing, she said.

“Herd-shares in Kentucky aren’t exactly legal, but they’re not illegal, either — it’s a loophole in the law,” she said. “Raw milk sales here are illegal, but you can milk your own cow, so if you own part of a cow, it becomes OK.”

Last week, the West Virginia House of Delegates voted 81-19 to allow the consumption of non-pasteurized milk in West Virginia. The Senate passed the legislation (SB30) last month, so the bill next goes to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin for his signature. The bill will not allow the sale of raw milk, but will permit herd-sharing — buying stock in a cow or a herd and drinking milk produced by that cow or herd.

House Republicans noted in discussion of the bill that it was a matter of personal freedom

Despite having “one of the most severe” cases of HUS the hospital had seen, Seamus was able to make a full recovery after two weeks in the hospital, though he still receives check-ups to ensure that his kidneys are functioning as they should.

E. coli in Australian pigs

Background: Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) are a major economic threat to pig production globally, with serogroups O8, O9, O45, O101, O138, O139, O141, O149 and O157 implicated as the leading diarrhoeal pathogens affecting pigs below four weeks of age.

kid_pig_kissA multiple antimicrobial resistant ETEC O157 (O157 SvETEC) representative of O157 isolates from a pig farm in New South Wales, Australia that experienced repeated bouts of pre- and post-weaning diarrhoea resulting in multiple fatalities was characterized here. Enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) O157:H7 cause both sporadic and widespread outbreaks of foodborne disease, predominantly have a ruminant origin and belong to the ST11 clonal complex. Here, for the first time, we conducted comparative genomic analyses of two epidemiologically-unrelated porcine, disease-causing ETEC O157; E. coli O157 SvETEC and E. coli O157:K88 734/3, and examined their phylogenetic relationship with EHEC O157:H7.

Results: O157 SvETEC and O157:K88 734/3 belong to a novel sequence type (ST4245) that comprises part of the ST23 complex and are genetically distinct from EHEC O157. Comparative phylogenetic analysis using PhyloSift shows that E. coli O157 SvETEC and E. coli O157:K88 734/3 group into a single clade and are most similar to the extraintestinal avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) isolate O78 that clusters within the ST23 complex. Genome content was highly similar between E. coli O157 SvETEC, O157:K88 734/3 and APEC O78, with variability predominantly limited to laterally acquired elements, including prophages, plasmids and antimicrobial resistance gene loci. Putative ETEC virulence factors, including the toxins STb and LT and the K88 (F4) adhesin, were conserved between O157 SvETEC and O157:K88 734/3. The O157 SvETEC isolate also encoded the heat stable enterotoxin STa and a second allele of STb, whilst a prophage within O157:K88 734/3 encoded the serum survival gene bor. Both isolates harbor a large repertoire of antibiotic resistance genes but their association with mobile elements remains undetermined.

flying.pig.kids.in.the.hallConclusions: We present an analysis of the first draft genome sequences of two epidemiologically-unrelated, pathogenic ETEC O157. E. coli O157 SvETEC and E. coli O157:K88 734/3 belong to the ST23 complex and are phylogenetically distinct to EHEC O157 lineages that reside within the ST11 complex.

Comparative genomic analysis of a multiple antimicrobial resistant enterotoxigenic E. coli O157 lineage from Australian pigs

BMC Genomics 2015, 16:165

Ethan Wyrsch, Piklu Roy Chowdhury, Sam Abraham, Jerran Santos, Aaron E Darling, Ian G Charles, Toni A Chapman and Steven P Djordjevic

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2164/16/165/abstract

E. coli O26 found in French cheese Roquefort

Escherichia coli O26 has been discovered in Roquefort cheese, reports the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA), based on information received from the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF).

Roquefort_cheeseThe Roquefort is a raw milk cheese with barcode EE1632, identification FR 120203 022CE. It was sold in supermarkets in 100gm units with the expiration date May 8th, 2015. It has been advised not to consume the cheese and if already purchased, consumers need to throw it away immediately.

Cooking E. coli out of veal cordon bleu

Veal cutlets were surface inoculated with ca. 6.6 cfu/g of an eight-strain rifampicin-resistant cocktail of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) (O26:H11, O45:H2, O103:H2, O104:H4, O111:H-, O121:H19, O145:NM and O157:H7). Cutlets were mechanically tenderized and cordon bleu was prepared by adding slices of ham and cheese between two cutlets prior to batter/breading and cooking.

Veal_Cordon_Bleu_-_1024-512x288Fully assembled cordon bleu were cooked in preheated (191.5C) extra virgin olive oil (45 mL) on a griddle. Cooking for 4, 5 or 6 min per side reduced STEC levels by ca. 1.3, 2.2 or 3.4 log cfu/g, respectively, whereas cooking for 7–10 min per side resulted in reductions of ca. ≥6.2 log cfu/g.

These data validated that cooking tenderized veal cordon bleu for at least 7 min per side in 45 mL of olive oil on a griddle maintained at ca. 191.5C is sufficient to achieve an internal cordon bleu temperature of 69.0 ± 3.3C and a ≥5-log reduction of STEC.

Thermal inactivation of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli cells within veal cordon bleu

Journal of Food Safety [ahead of print]

Kulas, M., Porto-Fett, A. C.S., Swartz, R. S., Shane, L. E., Strasser, H., Munson, M., Shoyer, B. A. and Luchansky, J. B.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jfs.12188/abstract;jsessionid=FCEB8A5A4EB2E460A51BEEC27D419A8B.f03t03

But don’t panic: 6 students sick with E. coli from same school in California

An E. coli outbreak in Lodi, California has sickened six elementary school children, requiring one to be hospitalized. The children all attend the same elementary school, but the school has been ruled out as a source of the outbreak.

remaincalm.kevin.baconTwo students in Lodi’s Reese Elementary School’s combined second and third-grade class were confirmed on Monday to have become infected with the E. coli bacteria last week. The students were taken to the hospital when they first showed signs of becoming ill.

School principal Gary Odell realized something was going on last Tuesday. Feb. 24. “It came up a week ago. The secretary noticed that four students were out sick and one had gone to the hospital over the weekend. When the three others began showing symptoms, the nurse contacted (the San Joaquin County Department of Public Health),” Odell said.

Odell said the health department investigated the food services department, and the school cafeteria was given a clean bill of health. The bacteria was not coming from the school’s kitchen or the cafeteria. It is really not known where the first child got the infection because there are so many sources of a potential infection. It is just unusual for this many children from the same school to become infected in such a short time.

Parents weren’t notified of the outbreak until Monday evening after letters were sent home with their children. The principal explained the reason for the lateness of the notification, saying that once the health department took over, they had to follow their guidelines. This meant there had to be two confirmed cases before the public was notified to avoid a panic.

E. coli vaccine effective but seldom used in feedlot cattle

When it comes to foodborne illnesses, few rival E. coli for the damaging effect it can have on humans.

beef.cattleResearch shows that STEC-related bacteria cause more than 175,000 human illnesses per year with an annual direct economic cost ranging from $489 million to $993 million, said Kansas State University agricultural economist, Glynn Tonsor.

Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, often referred to as STEC O157 or simply E. coli, is naturally occurring in cattle and though it does no harm to the cattle, can make humans sick. In some cases it is lethal. To reduce the chances that beef leaving their plants is contaminated with the pathogen, beef processors have implemented hazard control steps and also test their beef products for the presence of E. coli before they leave the plant.

Another potential way to reduce prevalence of E. coli is to vaccinate cattle in feedlots long before they are shipped to processing plants.

“Immunization through vaccination has been a commercially available pre-harvest intervention to reduce E. coli shedding in cattle for about five years,” said Tonsor, who is a livestock marketing specialist with K-State Research and Extension. “Despite demonstrated substantial improvement in human health the vaccine offers, it has not been widely adopted.”

In a recent study he, along with K-State colleague Ted Schroeder, also an agricultural economist, took a closer look at the potential economic impacts of incorporating animal vaccination into E. coli pre-harvest control practices.

A fact sheet is available at Market Impacts of E.coli Vaccination in U.S. Feedlots. Study results have been published in the Agricultural and Food Economics Journal.

The study made clear two primary reasons most feedlot managers don’t use E. coli vaccines. Because cattle themselves are not adversely affected by the pathogen, the presence of E. coli does not hinder cattle feeding efficiency so there are no production costs for feedlots directly associated with the prevalence of E. coli. In other words, it costs no more to feed cattle that have E. coli than it does to feed cattle that don’t.  

Further, there is no well-established market that compensates producers for vaccinating for the pathogen. So generally, the price paid for cattle coming out of feedlots is the same whether the vaccine was used or not. Because administering the vaccine adds costs without direct economic incentives, most cattle feeders choose not to, Tonsor said.

Key findings from the K-State study include:

  • Given the current market setting, producer adoption of E. coli vaccination protocols is likely to remain limited. If such vaccinations were implemented, it would cost U.S. feedlots $1.0 billion to $1.8 billion in economic welfare loss over 10 years if demand didn’t increase with premiums for vaccinated cattle.    
  • Retail or export beef demand increases could spur adoption by feedlot producers. Considering different scenarios, the study found that retail beef demand increases of 1.7 percent to 3.0 percent or export beef demand increases of 18.1 percent to 32.6 percent would be necessary to generate sufficiently higher fed cattle prices to offset the costs associated with vaccination.
  • Production cost decreases to either beef retailers or wholesalers (packers) could also provide an incentive for feedlot producers to vaccinate. The study indicated that cost declines of 2.2 percent to 3.9 percent for retailers or alternatively production cost declines of 1.2 percent to 2.2 percent for packers would be necessary to generate sufficiently higher fed cattle prices to cover feedlot adoption costs, making producers economically neutral to adoption.

“A key point of this research is that limited use of E. coli vaccinations in U.S. feedlots is consistent with the lack of current economic signals for producers to expand adoption,” Schroeder said. “Unless there is a substantial change in market signals presented to feedlot operators, limited use of E. coli vaccinations can be expected in the future.”

Sweden screens for STECs in kids

Background: Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STECs) are the most common cause of acute renal failure in children. The present study evaluated a 10-year STEC polymerase chain reaction screening regimen in children.

dirty.jobs.daycare.e.coliMethods: All routine stool culture specimens from patients below 10 years of age (n = 10 342) from May 2003 through April 2013 in the County of Jönköping, Sweden, were included. Patients were divided in 1 group where analyses of STEC were requested by the clinician (n = 2366) and 1 screening group (n = 7976). Patients who were positive for STEC were tested weekly until they were negative. Clinical data were collected through a questionnaire and by reviewing medical records.

Results: In specimens from 191 patients, stx was found (162 index cases). The prevalence was 1.8% in the requested group and 1.5% in the screening group (P = .5). Diarrhea was the most frequent symptom reported in 156 cases and of these 29 (19%) had hemorrhagic colitis (HC) and 7 children developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). No difference regarding severity of symptoms between the groups was found. Stx2 predominated in cases with HC (P < .0001) and HUS (P = .04). Median stx shedding duration was 20 days (1–256 days), and no difference in duration was seen between stx types (P = .106–1.00) and presence of eaeA (P = .72).

Conclusions: Most STEC cases were found in the screening group with comparable prevalence and disease severity as in patients where analysis was requested. Furthermore, non-O157 serotypes caused severe disease when carrying stx2, and prolonged shedding of STEC may be a risk for transmission.

 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in diarrheal stool of Swedish children: Evaluation of polymerase chain reaction screening and duration of shiga toxin shedding

Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society

Andreas Matussek, Ing-Marie Einemo, Anna Jogenfors, Sven Löfdahl3 and Sture Löfgren

http://m.jpids.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/02/17/jpids.piv003.full