Outbreak report Open Access
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We report on two children with Escherichia coli O157 infection, one of whom developed haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS). Both had drunk raw cows’ or goats’ milk in the week before their illness. Molecular subtyping identified a sorbitol fermenting Escherichia coli O157:H isolate from a dairy cow. This isolate differed from Shiga toxin producing O157:H strains isolated from the 6 year old boy with HUS. This result underlines the need to search for other causes of infection, despite documented consumption of unpasteurised milk. In the second patient, human sorbitol non-fermenting O157:H isolates and animal isolates from goats were indistinguishable. The isolation of indistinguishable sorbitol non-fermenting Escherichia coli O157:H from contact animals supports the association between HUS and consumption of raw goats’ milk, and re-emphasises the importance of pasteurising milk.


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