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J Infect Dis. 1997 Sep;176(3):815-8.

A prolonged outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections caused by commercially distributed raw milk.

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  • 1Acute and Communicable Disease Section, Oregon Health Division, Portland 97232, USA. keene@ohsu.edu

Abstract

A protracted outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections was caused by consumption of unpasteurized ("raw") milk sold at Oregon grocery stores. Although it never caused a noticeable increase in reported infections, the outbreak was recognized because of routine follow-up interviews. Six of 16 Portland-area cases reported between December 1992 and April 1993 involved people who drank raw milk from dairy A. By pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), E. coli O157:H7 isolates from these cases and from the dairy A herd were homologous (initially, 4 of 132 animals were E. coli O157:H7-positive). Despite public warnings, new labeling requirements, and increased monitoring of dairy A, retail sales and dairy-associated infections continued until June 1994 (a total of 14 primary cases). Seven distinguishable PFGE patterns in 3 homology groups were identified among patient and dairy herd E. coli O157:H7 isolates. Without restrictions on distribution, E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks caused by raw milk consumption can continue indefinitely, with infections occurring intermittently and unpredictably.

PMID:
9291342
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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