Clinical, microbiological and epidemiological aspects of Escherichia coli O157 infection.
Department of Clinical Microbiology, Western General Hospitals NHS Trust, Edinburgh, UK. email@example.com
In the last decade infections caused by Escherichia coli O157:H7 and other verocytotoxigenic E. coli (VTEC) have emerged as a major public health concern in North America and in Europe, and increasingly in other areas of the world. Although absolute numbers of infections are low in comparison with other enteric pathogens such as Salmonella or Campylobacter, it is well-recognised that E. coli O157 can produce severe, potentially life-threatening, illness. As a consequence of this awareness, there has been a rapid expansion of our knowledge about these organisms and the diseases which they cause. In this article, the clinical, microbiological and epidemiological features of VTEC O157 infection are reviewed.