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Infezioni da Escherichia coli verocitotossici: fattori di rischio e prevenzione

Giovanna La Salandra; Gaia Nobili; Mariagrazia Basanisi; Gianfranco La Bella; Annita M. Damato; Rosa Coppola; Donatantonio Guerrera

The goal of this video is to highlight the risk factors of E. coli pathogenic strains transmission such as VTEC to humans, providing the consumers with the knowledge and skills to prevent VTEC infections, particularly focusing it on food safety.  Escherichia coli pathogenic strains called Verotoxin-producing Escherichia coli or Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC/STEC) are a significant food-borne public health hazard in Europe. In fact, VTEC was the fourth most commonly reported zoonosis in the EU in 2017, with 6073 confirmed human cases. VTEC infections have been associated with a wide range of symptoms from uncomplicated diarrhea to hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). HUS is a serious disease that affect children, the elderly and immunosuppressed individuals. The most of the human infections are linked to 5 serogroups, called top five (O157, O26, O103, O145, and O111). In recent years in Apulia region (Southern Italy), there has been an increase of the number of VTEC infections and in 2013 the largest European epidemic outbreak caused by E. coli O26 exploded (Germinario et al., 2016); in 2016 and 2018 there were also 3 deaths affecting pediatric patients. In all cases the source of infection has never been identified. The Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Puglia e della Basilicata with funding from the Italian Ministry of Health has conducted numerous research projects on VTEC both for the development of new diagnostic protocols and for epidemiological investigations in order to assess the risk in the various food and environmental matrices (RC IZSPB 02/13, RC IZSPB 03/16, RC IZSPB 02/17). VTEC monitoring and surveillance programs are necessary for risk assessment purposes and to prevent and reduce the transmission of VTEC to consumers. All operators of food sector must work in an integrated way and food control systems must be applied at all stages of the food chain to ensure food safety.

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