Outbreak of Escherichia coli O157

H7 associated with raw milk consumption in the Pacific Northwest

Justin Denny, Maya Bhat, K. Eckmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

61 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In late 2005, health officials in Clark County, Washington noted a higher than expected number of Escherichia coli cases among residents and sought to identify a possible common source for infection. In order to identify risk factors, health officials conducted a retrospective cohort study and an environmental site investigation using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) to identify and prevent future cases from occurring. Several lines of evidence supported raw milk as the cause of infections: 1) all ill persons drank raw milk from the same cow share; 2) illness was associated with an increasing amount of milk consumed; 3) E. coli O157:H7 was isolated from raw milk samples and environmental samples collected from the floor of the milking parlour; and 4) PFGE patterns were indistinguishable between case-patients, raw milk samples, and environmental samples. Together, these findings made clear the health risks associated with the consumption of raw milk. The high amount of media interest in this investigation empowered public health officials to work with state legislators to pass State Senate Bill 6377 in Washington State which clarified that state licensing requirements apply to all milk production facilities including cow-share programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-328
Number of pages8
JournalFoodborne Pathogens and Disease
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2008

Fingerprint

Northwestern United States
Escherichia coli O157
milk consumption
raw milk
Disease Outbreaks
Milk
pulsed-field gel electrophoresis
Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis
milking parlors
cows
sampling
Health
cohort studies
infection
milk production
public health
risk factors
Licensure
Infection
Escherichia coli

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Food Science

Cite this

Outbreak of Escherichia coli O157 : H7 associated with raw milk consumption in the Pacific Northwest. / Denny, Justin; Bhat, Maya; Eckmann, K.

In: Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, Vol. 5, No. 3, 01.06.2008, p. 321-328.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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