Menace from foodborne E. coli: Meat micro organism trigger over 480,000 urinary tract infections within the US every year

Fresh red meat beef supermarket

A group of scientists has developed a brand new genomic method to hint the origins of Escherichia coli infections. They estimated that 480,000 to 640,000 urinary tract infections in the USA every year could end result from meals Escherichia coli tensions. Though it’s identified that E. coli foodborne may cause diarrhea, the concept it causes urinary tract infections is comparatively new. The examine offers robust proof that dangerous Escherichia coli the strains are transmitted from meals animals to people by the meals provide, inflicting critical illness.

A brand new examine suggests it Escherichia coli from meat merchandise could be answerable for lots of of hundreds of urinary tract infections in the USA every year.

A group of scientists, led by Lance Worth and Cindy Liu of the George Washington College Milken Institute Faculty of Public Well being, has developed a brand new genomic strategy to hint the origins of Escherichia coli infections. Utilizing this technique, the group estimated that between 480,000 and 640,000 urinary tract infections in the USA every year could be brought on by food-borne meals. Escherichia coli tensions.

We’re used to the concept they’re of meals origin Escherichia coli may cause outbreaks of diarrhea, however the idea of foodborne Escherichia coli inflicting urinary tract infections appears unusual, till you understand that uncooked meat is commonly riddled with Escherichia coli strains that trigger these infections, mentioned Worth, professor of occupational and environmental well being and director of the GW Antibiotic Resistance Motion Middle, who was previously a analysis scientist at Northern Arizona College. Our examine offers compelling proof that it’s harmful Escherichia coli the strains are making their manner from meals animals to folks by the meals provide and making folks sick typically actually sick.

Escherichia coli it’s by far the commonest reason for urinary tract infections, inflicting over 85% of circumstances every year. Girls are at the next threat of creating urinary tract infections, which may vary from easy bladder infections to life-threatening blood infections.

Escherichia coli Scanning electron micrograph

A scanning electron micrograph of Escherichia coli. Credit score: Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Illnesses, Nationwide Institutes of Well being

Escherichia coli it may possibly stay in and infect folks and animals, together with animals raised for meat in the USA Escherichia coliit may possibly contaminate meat merchandise and put folks liable to publicity.

Knowledge from the US Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend that the majority uncooked meat merchandise are contaminated with Escherichia coli. Presently, solely particular kinds of diarrhea Escherichia colifor instance Escherichia coli O157:H7, are monitored critically in the USA, however this new analysis means that different strains might also pose critical well being dangers.

On this examine, the researchers collected uncooked rooster, turkey, and pork bought from main grocery retailer chains in Flagstaff and remoted Escherichia coli from these meat samples. On the identical time, the researchers, who started the undertaking whereas employed at NAU’s Pathogen and Microbiome Institute (PMI), collected urine and blood Escherichia coli remoted from sufferers admitted to Northern Arizona Healthcares Flagstaff Medical Middle for urinary tract infections.

By analyzing the E. coli genomes from meat and people of individuals, the analysis group recognized segments of E. coli

DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is a molecule made up of two lengthy strands of nucleotides that wrap round one another to kind a double helix. It’s the hereditary materials in people and virtually all different organisms that carries genetic directions for growth, functioning, progress and copy. Virtually each cell in an individual’s physique has the identical DNA. Most DNA is discovered within the cell nucleus (the place it’s known as nuclear DNA), however a small quantity of DNA can be discovered within the mitochondria (the place it’s known as mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA).

” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{” attribute=””>DNA unique to strains that colonize food animals versus humans, then developed a new predictive model to differentiate E. coli from the two sources.

Previous work by the same team, investigating a single sequence type of E. coli, had linked contaminated meat to urinary tract infections. In the latest study, the team used their new predictive model to look at all E. coli sequence types and showed that about 8 percent of E. coli urinary tract infections in the Flagstaff area could be attributed to meat.

Scaling from Flagstaff to the U.S. population overall, suggests that foodborne E. coli may cause hundreds of thousands of urinary tract infections across the U.S. every year, the researchers note.

This unprecedented study design, based upon intensive food sampling of an isolated community and the engagement of their dominant healthcare provider, is a powerful approach to public health research, Paul Keim, a professor of microbiology at Northern Arizona University and co-author of the study, said. The study design, along with advancements in genomic technologies, allowed us to establish the linkages between food sources and the clinical cases. The conclusions from this model situation will affect public health practices worldwide.

The foodborne E. coli strains identified in the current study were not only associated with urinary tract infections but were also capable of causing serious kidney and bloodstream infections. Left unchecked, E. coli bloodstream infections can be deadly. It is estimated that between 36,000 and 40,000 people die from E. coli bloodstream infections in the U.S. each year, but it is currently not known what portion of these originate from foodborne exposures.

People often dismiss bladder infections as minor annoyances, but the bladder is a major gateway to patients kidneys and bloodstream, said Liu, associate professor of environmental and occupational health co-director of the GW Antibiotic Resistance Action Center and former researcher at PMI. People over 55 and vulnerable populations such as cancer and transplant patients are at the highest risk for life-threatening blood infections, but young, healthy people are also at risk.

The study suggests producers and the FDA could do a better job of monitoring potentially dangerous pathogens in food, most notably raw meat sold in grocery stores throughout the country. At the same time, consumers can take steps to limit their exposure to contaminated food. For example, home cooks should wash their hands carefully when preparing or handling raw meat and use separate surfaces to prepare raw and cooked foods, the authors say.

The study, Using source-associated mobile genetic elements to identify zoonotic extraintestinal E. coli infections, was published online March 23 in the journal One Health. The GW team led a multi-center group of researchers who collaborated on this paper. Northern Arizona University collaborated on the E. coli strain processing and genome sequencing, while the UTI E. coli were collected by the clinical microbiology team at the Flagstaff Medical Center led by former lab manager Lori Gauld. Bioinformatic analysis leading to the source conclusions were performed at GW.

Reference: Using source-associated mobile genetic elements to identify zoonotic extraintestinal E. coli infections by Cindy M. Liu, Maliha Aziz, Daniel E. Park, Zhenke Wu, Marc Stegger, Mengbing Li, Yashan Wang, Kara Schmidlin, Timothy J. Johnson, Benjamin J. Koch, Bruce A. Hungate, Lora Nordstrom, Lori Gauld, Brett Weaver, Diana Rolland, Sally Statham, Brantley Hall, Sanjeev Sariya, Gregg S. Davis, Paul S. Keim, James R. Johnson and Lance B. Price, 28 February 2023, One Health.
DOI: 10.1016/j.onehlt.2023.100518

The study was supported by GW, NAU, the Wellcome Trust, the National Institutes of Health and the Cowden Endowment for Food Microbiology.

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