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#1 teioh3

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 04:22 PM

With the recent O121 outbreaks in flour (General Mills, Robin Hood...etc), are there any discussion on this forum as to where the O121 could have originated from and the possible forms of mitigation?

 

I am also looking for a lab that can do detection tests for O121 strain specifically- but to no avail

 

any pointers?



#2 Scampi

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 01:24 PM

I'm not sure where in Canada you are, but here is some information out of Ontario that may be of help.  It would appear that you will need to send samples to the National Microbiology Lab....

 

Have you tried Maxxam?  They would be my first guess at genome testing for this strain (if they can't, see below or try your closest university)

 

 

 

Where non-O157 VTEC cases are suspected, samples can be forwarded to the Public Health Ontario Laboratories (PHOL) for non-O157 VTEC testing.  Various laboratory methods are used for further subtyping of VTEC to support epidemiological linkage between cases; pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) is the most common method used in Canada and is an important tool for identifying and investigating outbreaks. 4 Recently, the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) has started conducting multiple-locus variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) alongside PFGE testing for this pathogen. The value provided by MLVA testing in outbreak investigations is currently being evaluated. In the future, whole genome sequencing may provide additional discriminatory power to VTEC subtyping.

 

http://www.publichea...-_July_2013.pdf


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#3 Charles.C

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 01:46 PM

With the recent O121 outbreaks in flour (General Mills, Robin Hood...etc), are there any discussion on this forum as to where the O121 could have originated from and the possible forms of mitigation?

 

I am also looking for a lab that can do detection tests for O121 strain specifically- but to no avail

 

any pointers?

 

Hi teioh,

 

The answers to 2 queries in yr 1st paragraph currently appear to be Yes/No depending on the specifics.

 

Below are 3 latest links I could see on Google -

 

http://www.barfblog....th-e-coli-o121/

 

http://www.inspectio...0/1495854756704

 

http://www.foodquali...ns-30-in-Canada

 

I'm unclear as to the scientific meaning of the statement "different strain of E.coli O121" in last link.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#4 Scampi

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 02:55 PM

This particular strain is found in the lower intestinal tract of ruminant animals (e.g cows)  

 

Since there isn't a kill step in flour processing, if the field had manure spread on it that had not aged (reached a hot enough internal temperature to kill the microbes) long enough or was too wet to compost and was then spread on the field under the right/wrong conditions the bacteria would be present on the wheat when it was harvested.

Then, depending on how frequently the mill was wet cleaned, the bacteria would have had all the food it needed in the mill to reproduce and contaminate batches upon batches of flour (IMO)

 

 

E coli will be sub-categorised after typing....so it may all be 0121, but may have an alpha mark after it.....e.g 0157E


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#5 Charles.C

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 04:29 PM

This particular strain is found in the lower intestinal tract of ruminant animals (e.g cows)  

 

Since there isn't a kill step in flour processing, if the field had manure spread on it that had not aged (reached a hot enough internal temperature to kill the microbes) long enough or was too wet to compost and was then spread on the field under the right/wrong conditions the bacteria would be present on the wheat when it was harvested.

Then, depending on how frequently the mill was wet cleaned, the bacteria would have had all the food it needed in the mill to reproduce and contaminate batches upon batches of flour (IMO)

 

 

E coli will be sub-categorised after typing....so it may all be 0121, but may have an alpha mark after it.....e.g 0157E

 

Hi scampi,

 

Apparently "O121" is one of the "big 6" for which rapid screening should be available. Unless they are having to validate food matrices.

 

http://www.foodquali...r/?singlepage=1

 

It seems curious that no mention of H numbers for any of the related events afai can see. I noted that an earlier Canadian event was due O121:H19.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#6 Scampi

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 06:34 PM

Most Canadian labs are only testing for generic e coli and 0157:H57. Whether or not rapid testing is available is irrelevant. Prior to this outbreak, there was no requirement for anyone to test for this specific strain. Labs still need to make money and won't upgrade to specific genome testing unless there is a demand for it. 


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#7 Charles.C

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 05:30 AM

Hi scampi,

 

Regarding “control”, this IMO is a highly complicated topic, both technically and commercially. Up until recent events, the main focus has presumably been on the Global Meat Industry. Perhaps becoming much less of a monopoly.

 

Initially discussions on Pathogenic E.coli-related incidents seem to have focussed on O157/meat sector which is product-OT to this thread but linked from a safety POV. Subsequently the scope has expanded (see USDA risk profile attached below) with respect to both serotypes of E.coli and food product categories, now including flour.

 

The following text uses this acronym  -

 

STEC is a group of E. coli bacteria that produce Shiga toxin. A subset of STEC (ie "Pathogenic STEC") causes human illness.

 

A crucial element in appropriate controls has been the necessity to define the criteria for separating pathogenic and non-pathogenic STECs. The situation in 2010 for Non-O157 serotypes was summarised here -

 

Non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains have been linked to outbreaks and sporadic cases of illness worldwide.
Illnesses linked to STEC serotypes other than O157:H7 appear to be on the rise in the United States and worldwide, indicating that some of these organisms may be emerging pathogens. As more laboratories are testing for these organisms in clinical samples, more cases are uncovered. Some cases of non-O157 STEC illness appear to be as severe as cases associated with O157, although in general cases attributed to non-O157 are less severe.

There is much variation in virulence potential within STEC serotypes, and many may not be pathogenic. Of more than 400 serotypes isolated, fewer than 10 serotypes cause the majority of STEC-related human illnesses. Various virulence factors are involved in non-O157 STEC pathogenicity; the combined presence of both eae and stx genes has been associated with enhanced virulence.
A scientific definition of a pathogenic STEC has not yet been accepted.

Several laboratories have attempted to develop detection and identification methods, and although substantial progress has been made, a practical method of STEC detection has yet to be validated.
Worldwide, foods associated with non-O157 STEC illness include sausage, ice cream, milk, and lettuce, among others.
Results from several studies suggest that control measures for O157 may be effective for non-O157 STEC. More research is needed to uncover unique characteristics and resistances of non-O157 STEC strains if they exist. The public health significance of non-O157 STEC and the implications for industry practices and regulatory actions are discussed.

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm...pubmed/20828483

 

Afaik FSIS/USDA initiated controls on non-O157 STECs (Big 6) ca. 2012 using the combination criteria in above quote + certain O serogroups (Big 6). Their reasonings/background/protocols are detailed in the relevant F.R. Regulation (2012) and Risk profile (2012) which are attached below (for lab methodology see STEC2,3 at end this Post)

 

Attached File  Fed.Reg. 2012 -Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli in Certain Raw Beef products.pdf   204.9KB   5 downloads

Attached File  USDA Risk Profile for pathogenic Non O157 STEC,May 2012.pdf   1.02MB   4 downloads

 

For a little more context, here are a couple of articles (US-2012/Canadian-2015) explicitly/implicitly oriented to "control".

 

Attached File  Consumer's Union - STEC-comments.pdf   32.91KB   4 downloads

 

Attached File  Understanding non-O157 STEC associated with cattle and beef carcasses.pdf   2.61MB   6 downloads

("STEC" is here, i think, narrowly interpreted as per the 3 "pathogenic" criteria utilised by FSIS, ie stx/eae/O-serogroups rather than the more general definition of SHEC at top this post).

 

The rapid screening procedure currently available for “big 6”  appears to be based on sweep PCR.  Further confirmation of presumptive positives is required (see attachments at end. The procedure was described in one reference I saw as “challenging”.

 

The existence of non-O157 STECs in Canadian Meat Industry, potential significance, eg vis-à-vis USA, and related microbiological considerations seem to have been well - appreciated/documented by at least 2010. For example,

https://www.ncbi.nlm...les/PMC2896796/

 

Regarding the flour events I noticed this criticism of the PHA’s progress pace, no idea whether representative  of  local opinion.

http://www.barfblog....Powell/page/10/

 

As you mentioned in previous post, the "O121" is effectively a serogroup potentially containing numerous serotypes (terminologies abound).  The reason for the delay in specifying H values may be due to this factor but it's only speculation since hard data seems limited  –

Isolates from the 2016 U.S. outbreak have been compared to the current outbreak in Canada by whole genome sequencing (via PulseNet  International); the Canadian outbreak strain is not similar to the U.S. outbreak. Comparisons will continue to be made on an ongoing basis throughout the outbreak investigation in Canada. 

 

http://www.barfblog....-purpose-flour/

 

The genetic pattern of the Canadian outbreak strain is unrelated to the strain of E. coli O121 that was responsible for an outbreak of more that 60 illnesses in the U.S. in 2016. That outbreak was traced to flour produced by a General Mills facility in Kansas City, MO.

 

https://efoodalert.w...m-ardent-mills/

 

 

Attached File  STEC 1 - Isolation-Detection pathogenic E.coli in foods.pdf   700.39KB   6 downloads

Attached File  STEC 2 - USDA,MLG 5B.05 - Detection-Isolation nonO157 STEC from Meat Products,2014.pdf   153.86KB   11 downloads

Attached File  STEC 3 - validation commercial kits for detection E.coli O157,H7 and non-O157 STECS.pdf   141.33KB   8 downloads

Attached File  STEC 4 - Isolation-Identification Pathogrnic E.coli in Food.pdf   442.22KB   4 downloads

Attached File  STEC 5 - Australian Meat Technology - STEC update,2012.pdf   190.3KB   4 downloads

 

PS - Regarding general (consumer) mitigation in current scenario, can try -

 

https://efoodalert.w...m-ardent-mills/


Edited by Charles.C, 01 June 2017 - 04:18 AM.
edited/expanded

Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C





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