The significance of non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in food

Michael A. Grant, Craig Hedberg, Roger Johnson, Janet Harris, Catherine M. Logue, Jianghong Meng, John N. Sofos, James S. Dickson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Although Escherichia coli O157:H7 has received considerable attention in the United States, other pathogenic E. coli strains are also known to cause foodborne and water borne illnesses. However, since these strains have not received the same level of attention, from either a scientific or a public health point of view, it is important for the food safety community to understand the biology of these bacteria. This manuscript is a review of the current state of knowledge on the taxonomy and pathogenicity of the non-O157 shiga toxin producing E. coli strains (non-O157 STEC), as well as their significance to human health. Of this group, six serovars have been responsible for most of the human disease outbreaks in North America: O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145. The methodology used for detection of these organisms is a key issue and is also discussed in detail. Finally, current knowledge about the prevalence of non-O157 STEC in food, and possible methods of disease control and prevention, are reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-45
Number of pages13
JournalFood Protection Trends
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011


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