Norwegian officials are conducting investigations into an outbreak of E. coli where four citizens have acquired hemolytic uremic syndrome.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (Folkehelseinstituttet) has recognized the same type of Enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) in three people from August and the processes are going on for the other cases.
The outbreak is due to Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O?: H2 (stx2a, eae, ehxA) infection as no O-group is identified yet.
The STEC pathotype is described by the conduction of the genes containing Shiga toxin (Stx) type 1, type 2, or both. Stx2a is oriented toward the dangerous disease. The E. coli alignment and effacing (eae) gene gives the virulence factor intimin. When it is along with stx2a there is a strong match with the risk of HUS. The enterohaemolysin gene (ehxA) is also another major factor behind virulence.
The outbreak investigation has been organized alongside the relevant municipal corporations, the Veterinary Institute and Norwegian Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet) as the source is yet to be found out.
Patients are reported are residing in Hordaland, Aust-Agder, Trøndelag, and Hedmark. One child and four adults above 70 years of age have been diagnosed with the disease. Four people have acquired hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a kind of kidney failure usually seen with E. coli infection.
Bacteria that have the same kind of DNA profiles have been found in three patients. The analysis for the remaining two cases is still going on. The similarities in DNA profiles indicate that people have the same common source of infection.
The initial outbreak of norovirus was associated with the seaweed salad caused in mid-June and the latest one was at the starting of August. Norovirus was observed in patients from two of the eateries.