Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Food & Beverage Analysis
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

MSU Researchers Decode Deadly E. coli Strain

Published: Friday, August 24, 2012
Last Updated: Friday, August 24, 2012
Bookmark and Share
Highly virulent strain of E. coli lead to 54 deaths in Germany.

A highly virulent strain of E. coli caused the deadliest E. coli outbreak on record last year, leading to 54 deaths in Germany and sickening more than 3,800 people.

Now a research team at Michigan State University has decoded the pathogen and is working on ways to curb the effects of the bacteria.

The E. coli O104:H4 strain shares some of the same characteristics as other deadly E. coli bacteria, but its combination is novel. The MSU team determined that a key process in the bacteria’s effectiveness lies in its biofilm.

As a grouping of the bacteria stick to a cell’s surface, they grow encased in a self-produced protective coat, or biofilm.

Once this film forms, it begins to make more toxic genes like the Shiga toxin. This increased production of toxic genes is the likely cause of the intensity of the deadly E. coli outbreak.

“What made the German outbreak so different is that many victims suffering from kidney failure were adults,” said Shannon Manning, MSU Molecular Biologist and Epidemiologist. “Rather than attacking adults, other types of E. coli that produce Shiga toxins typically damage kidneys of children under 10.”

The researchers also discovered that the H4 strain needs a lengthier period of time to form this toxic-producing biofilm, helping to explain the considerably longer incubation time seen among individuals infected with the German outbreak strain compared to individuals infected with other types of E. coli.

The team will next apply this knowledge towards mitigating the effects of the strain.

“Our research demonstrates that biofilm formation is critical for toxin production and kidney damage,” said Manning. “If we can block the bacteria from forming a stable biofilm, then it is likely that we can prevent future E. coli O104:H4 infections.”

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Scientific News
The MaxSignal Colistin ELISA Test Kit from Bioo Scientific
Kit can help prevent the antibiotic apocalypse by keeping last resort drugs out of the food supply.
Kitchen Utensils Can Spread Bacteria Between Foods
In a recent study researchers found that produce that contained bacteria would contaminate other produce items through the continued use of knives or graters—the bacteria would latch on to the utensils commonly found in consumers' homes and spread to the next item.
GMO Food Animals Should be Judged by Product, Not Process
In a world with a burgeoning demand for meat, milk and eggs, regulatory policies around the use of biotechnologies in agriculture need to be based on the safety and attributes of those foods rather than on the methods used to produce them, says a UC Davis animal scientist.
Acetaldehyde and Formaldehyde Content in Foods
Korean researchers have determined the content of the toxic and carcinogenic aldehydes, acetaldehyde and formaldehyde, in a variety of food groups.
Increasing Vitamin D Supplementation
New study from ETH Zurich finds that elderly women should consume more vitamin D than previously recommended during the winter months.
IARC Monographs Evaluate Consumption of Red Meat and Processed Meat
Processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%.
Nanoparticles in Foods Raise Safety Questions
Nanoparticles can make foods like jawbreaker candies brighter and creamier and keep them fresh longer. But researchers are still in the dark about what the tiny additives do once inside our bodies.
Arsenic Found in Many U.S. Red Wines
A new University of Washington study that tested 65 wines from America’s top four wine-producing states — California, Washington, New York and Oregon — found all but one have arsenic levels that exceed what’s allowed in drinking water.
Viruses Join Fight Against Harmful Bacteria
Engineered viruses could combat human disease and improve food safety.
Plastic for Dinner
Roughly a quarter of the fish sampled from fish markets in California and Indonesia contained man-made debris according to a study from the University of California, Davis, and Hasanuddin University in Indonesia.

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos