NEWS SCAN: Foodborne E coli and UTIs, H5N1 in Bangladesh

Jan 20, 2010

Study suggests foodborne E coli is linked to UTIs
Contaminated foods such as chicken, beef, and other retail items may be a reservoir for Escherichia coli found in urinary tract infections (UTIs), researchers from Canada's McGill University reported recently in Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID). They compared E coli isolates from women with UTIs and from retail meat and ready-to-eat foods. Using four different genotyping methods, the investigators serotyped the organisms and evaluated them for antimicrobial drug susceptibility. They identified 17 clonal groups that contained E coli from more than one source. Samples from supermarket chicken and honeydew melons were indistinguishable from or closely matched E coli isolates from human UTIs. The authors wrote that the findings strongly support a role for food reservoirs or foodborne transmission, which underscores the importance of strategies to reduce antimicrobial drug resistance in veterinary medicine, food production, and human health. The group is also sampling E coli isolates from beef and pork to determine if they are related to those found in humans.
January 2010 EID report

H5N1 strikes Bangladesh poultry farm
Livestock officials in Bangladesh today reported that the H5N1 avian influenza virus struck a poultry farm in the western part of the country, according to a report from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The outbreak began on Jan 4 and killed 250 poultry; the remaining 932 birds were culled to control the disease. Investigators have not found the source of the outbreak, which is Bangladesh's first since September. Authorities disinfected the farm and have limited poultry transport in the area. Yesterday India reported an H5N1 outbreak in backyard birds in West Bengal state in the eastern part of the country, not far from the border with Bangladesh.
Jan 20 OIE report

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