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13 July 2011 : INFOSAN: Outbreak of E. coli O104: H4 in France

INFOSAN Emergency Alert: Outbreak of E. coli O104: H4 infections in France

According to the INFOSAN Emergency Alert on Outbreak of E. coli O104: H4 infections in France,
8 patients with bloody diarrhea were founded in the Bordeaux Region of France where 7 of them developed HUS.  This patient group consists of 6 women and 2 men aged 31-78 years.  Seven patients revealed that they joined an event at a local recreation center in Begles. Meanwhile six of them reported eating gazpacho (a cold vegetables soup) and other dishes garnished with raw sprouts. So far, it has been in a process of investigation to confirm food source attributed to the outbreak and trace back to the origin.  (for more details:


E. coli O104: H4 infections were confirmed in three patients.  Not only sharing the same serotype, but also the strain has similar characteristic to the strain identified in the recent and severe HUS outbreak in Germany.  Moreover the antimicrobial resistance pattern of the 2 strains is comparable.


Importantly, this evidence is the second outbreak of E. coli O104: H4 infections which potentially associate to sprouted seeds/beans, so increasing concern that the source of contamination is the seeds used to produce the sprouts is recognized.  In the meantime, concerned authorities in Member States are encouraged to remain vigilant and to report VTEC infections or HUS through their respective IHR Contact Points, particularly those affect adults and/or caused by E. coli O104: H4.


Source: The International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN)