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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 1999 Apr;18(4):286-8.

Outbreak of Escherichia coli O157 infection associated with a music festival.

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  • 1Public Health Laboratory Service Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, London, UK.


Seven persons who attended the Glastonbury Music Festival were infected with Vero cytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli O157 and an eighth person had serological evidence of infection. Cases were reported from different parts of England. Patients were interviewed by telephone about clinical symptoms, festival attendance, camping details, food history, water exposure, and contact with mud and animals. The interviews identified no common food source, differing use of water sources and widely dispersed camping sites. Escherichia coli O157 strains from seven persons and from a cow belonging to a herd that had previously grazed the site all belonged to phage type 2 and possessed genes for Vero cytotoxin 2. Drug resistance and DNA-based tests showed that six patients were infected with strains indistinguishable from each other and from the bovine isolate. The most likely vehicle of infection was mud contaminated with Escherichia coli O157 from infected cattle.

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