Microbiological Risk Assessment Series Series 19

Shiga Toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and Food

Attribution, Characterization and Monitoring

January 2019
More details
  • Publisher
    World Health Organization
  • Published
    22nd January 2019
  • ISBN 9789241514279
  • Language English
  • Pages 172 pp.
  • Size 8.26" x 11.69"

Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections are a substantial health issue worldwide. Circa 2010, foodborne STEC caused > 1 million human illnesses, 128 deaths, and ~ 13,000 Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs). Targeting interventions to address this hazard relies on identifying those STEC strains of greatest risk to human health and determining the food vehicles for such infections.

This report brings together the review and analysis of existing information on the burden, source attribution, hazard characterization and monitoring of STEC.

It proposes a set of criteria for categorizing the potential risk of severity of illness associated with the presence of a STEC in food, for consideration by risk managers, as part of a risk-based approach to control STEC in foods. It presents the initial results on source attribution of foodborne STEC, highlighting that while ruminants and other land animals are considered the main reservoirs for STEC, largescale outbreaks have also been linked to other foods, such as fresh produce. It also provides a review of monitoring programs and methodology for STEC, which can serve as a reference for countries planning to develop such programs.

World Health Organization

World Health Organization is a Specialized Agency of the United Nations, charged to act as the world's directing and coordinating authority on questions of human health. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries, and monitoring and assessing health trends.