In this study, doctors from the United States investigated all suspected outbreaks of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, between 1996 and 2003.
The team confirmed an outbreak when ETEC isolates of the same serotype were isolated from more than 3 ill people and where no other pathogens were identified. Alternative criteria were ETEC isolates of the same serotype from more than 10 ill people, with no more than 1 other pathogen identified.
Stool specimens were cultured for Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, E. coli O157:H7, Yersinia, and Vibrio species. In many cases, specimens were also tested for noroviruses.
|16 met the team's criteria for an outbreak.|
|Emerging Infectious Diseases|
During the 8-year study period, the team received isolates from 59 outbreaks for ETEC testing.
Of these, 16 met their criteria for a ETEC outbreak. The team found that 3 of the 16 occurred on international cruise ships that docked in US ports.
Dr Mark Beatty's team concluded, "The epidemiology of ETEC outbreaks in the United States is changing, but the incidence of these outbreaks does not appear to be decreasing".