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Expert Rev Mol Diagn. 2003 Jan;3(1):105-15.

Detection of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in food.

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Laboratorio Ambiental, Servicio de Salud del Ambiente, Region Metropolitana, Santiago, Chile.


Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli are emerging as a significant source of food-borne infectious disease all over the world. Illness caused by Shiga toxin-producing E. coli can range from self limited, watery diarrhea to life-threatening manifestations such as hemorrhagic colitis, hemolytic uremic syndrome or thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura and death. Shiga toxin-producing E. coli can potentially enter the human food chain from a number of animal sources, most commonly by contamination of meat with feces or intestinal contents after slaughter or cross-contamination of unpasteurized milk products. Because of the low infectious dose of the O157:H7 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli strain, laboratory diagnosis of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli in food samples has developed a great importance. This review will focus on the microorganism, giving priority to illness prevention and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli detection in food.

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