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Chapter 5 : Diarrheagenic Escherichia coli
Category: Food Microbiology; Applied and Industrial Microbiology
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This chapter presents recent advances in control measures used in food processing, as well as discriminative detection methods for confirmation of these pathogens and trace-back of contaminated food products. Common symptoms associated with human diarrheagenic E. coli infections generally include loose, watery stools (diarrhea) and mild to severe abdominal pain and/or cramping. Colonization of host gastrointestinal (GI) tissue is rather methodical, and evasion of host defenses, colonization, replication, and damage to the host are observed with all diarrheagenic E. coli infections. The toxins involved in diarrheagenic E. coli infections are also unique to each class. While many types of E. coli toxins exist, Shiga toxins (also known as Shiga-like toxins or verotoxins) are similar to those produced by Shigella dysenteriae. Animal feces are the source of contamination for animal hides, water, soil, and inanimate objects, leading to transfer of contamination to raw food ingredients, processing water, equipment, and workers. Rapid detection methods have become increasingly popular in the food industry for the detection of specific pathogens and toxins. The documentation of smaller and smaller outbreaks is indicative of successful surveillance efforts that include the refinement and standardization of laboratory techniques, improved reporting and sharing of information, and induction of more regional testing facilities which cater to a larger proportion of the national population.