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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 2003;36(1): 77-84.
Cause of Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli Infection in Ulju County, Korea.
Geun Ryang Bae, Sang Won Lee, Byung Guk Yang, Bok Kwon Lee, Jae Gu Park, Byeong Hun Hwang, Hyun Sul Lim
1Division of Epidemiologic Investigation, Department of infectious diseases control, National Institute of Health, Korea. bgr824@chollian.net
2Division of Enteric Infection, Department of Microbiology, National Institute of Health, Korea.
3Ulju County Health Center, Korea.
4Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Dongguk University, Korea.
OBJECTIVES: Two related cases of Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome (HUS) were reported to the Korea National Institute of Health in May, 2001. Shiga toxin 2 genes were detected in both stool samples. We suspected an enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) infection as the cause of the HUS, and conducted an investigation to find the source of the infection and its route of transmission. METHODS: We performed case investigations on these two related HUS cases, and obtained interviews and rectal swabs form the family members and other close contacts. Additionally, we performed rectal swabs on the cattle raised by the household of the index patient. RESULTS: We found a 20 month old index patient and a 6 year-old cousin had developed HUS, where there had been a 2 day history of contact with the index, and bacteriological examinations for these two patients revealed, indistinguishably, the same E. coli O171. The grandmother of the index patient was found to be asymptomatic, but E. coli O26 was isolated. We also found a probable case in the mother of the cousin. She reported a history of contact with the index, and developed bloody diarrhea of 3 days duration. The test results for the cattle revealed E. coli O26 in one cow, and E. coli O26 and O55 in another. E. coli O26, which was isolated in both cows and the grandmother of the index, were indistinguishably the same. CONCLUSIONS: We found that the E. coli O26 in the grandmother had originated from the cows, and that the E. coli O171 found in the index patient had been transmitted to the cousin through person-to-person contact.
Key words: Enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) infection; Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome; Zoonoses; Cattle
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