Top Six Non-O157 E. coli

Top Six Shiga Toxin Producing Escherichia coli Classed as Adulterants: Background, Detection, Control and Implications to the Industry 

(Webinar length:  1h 33m)


Escherichia coli O157:H7 is an established human pathogen of great significance that accounts for an estimated 73, 000 cases per year, 2000 hospitalizations and 60 deaths each year. The pathogenicity of E. coli O157:H7 is primarily due to the bacterium’s ability to produce shiga toxin that leads to Heamolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). Although E. coli O157:H7 is the most predominant, it should be noted that there are over 200 serotypes of E. coli within the STEC group that are commonly referred to as non-O157 STEC. It is estimated that the prevalence of non-O157 STEC is double the prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 in foods but accounts for half the clinical cases with HUS being encountered. The lower virulence of non-O157 STEC is attributed to the lack of all the necessary virulence factors to cause illness. Yet, in recent years there has been a significant increase in non-O157 STEC related illnesses, including HUS, that have implicated 6 serotypes (referred to as the Top 6). This has now led to the Top Six being classified along with E. coli O157:H7 as adulterants. Federal authorities have seen the policy move as a major step in enhancing the microbiological safety of beef. However, the industry views the policy change as unnecessary without scientific basis and will add to the financial burden that will ultimately be paid by the public. 

The following webinar will describe the evolutionary history of STEC and the underlying reasons why the diverse group exhibits a spectrum of virulence. The prevalence of non-O157 STEC will be outlined along with dissemination routes and examples of outbreaks that have occurred in recent years. The available detection methods and challenges in developing more reliable diagnostics will be covered. Approaches to control STEC at different levels of the food chain will be described and policy positions by different countries as they relate to non-O157 STEC described. The implications of classing the Top Six as adulterants to the industry and on food safety will be discussed. 

Learning objectives:

  • Evolution of the STEC group
  • Important sources of non-O157 STEC and dissemination routes
  • Outbreaks implicating non-O157 STEC
  • Approaches to control non-O157 STEC at the farm, processing and user interface levels
  • Diagnostics for detection and differentiating STEC
  • Regulatory policy relating to non-O157 STEC
  • Future trends in the area of non-O157 STEC

Who will benefit

  • QA and QC Managers
  • Production Managers
  • Food Scientists and Technologists
  • Food Safety Personnel
  • HACCP Coordinators
  • Government food inspectors

Presenter - Dr. Keith Warriner

Dr. Keith Warriner is currently an Associate Professor within the Department of Food Science at University of Guelph, Canada. Dr. Warriner received his BSc in Food Science from the University of Nottingham, UK and PhD in Microbial Physiology from the University College of Wales Aberystwyth, UK. He later went on to work on biosensors within the University of Manchester, UK and subsequently returned to the University of Nottingham to become a Research Fellow in Food Microbiology. He joined the Faculty of the University of Guelph in 2002. 

During the last fifteen years in the field of microbiology and food safety research, Dr. Warriner has published more than 100 papers, book chapters, patents, and conference abstracts. He has broad research areas encompassing development of decontamination technologies, biosensors for biohazard detection, and more fundamental research on the interaction of human pathogens with plants. One notable research accomplishment was the development of a decontamination treatment for sanitizing seeds destined for sprout production and a further process based on Advanced Oxidation Process for inactivating pathogens on fresh produce. Current research in the area is focused on developing biocontrol strategies based on using a combination of antagonistic bacteria and bacteriophage to reduce levels of human pathogens at the primary production stage.

  • Item #: 0110cTop6
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Price $289.00