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13th Biotechnology Congress

San Francisco, USA

Xiaohua He

Xiaohua He

United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, USA

Title: Outbreaks of Shiga toxin-related poisoning and methods for early detection


Biography: Xiaohua He


Shiga toxin  (Stx) is one of the major virulence factors produced by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and is noted for its association with a wide spectrum of diseases, such as hemorrhagic colitis (HC) and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), the leading cause of acute renal failure in children.  The outbreaks caused by Stx have raised serious public health concerns and resulted in huge economic losses.  In 1982 the first reported outbreak of STEC was caused by an E. coli O157:H7 serotype in undercooked hamburger, but in a report published in 2012, six non-O157 serotypes were revealed to be responsible for 113,000 illness annually in the United States alone, almost double the amount of illness caused by O157.  Other sera-groups, including the highly virulent E. coli O104:H4, have also caused large outbreaks of HC and HUS.  As the sources of outbreaks have changed, a variety of detection methods for Stxs and organisms that produce them have evolved as well.  Here, we will discuss the recent advances on the detection, characterization and typing of Stxs with emphasis on work performed at the Western Regional Research Center, USDA, ARS.