May 6, 2010 – An E. coli O145 outbreak sickened people in Michigan, Ohio, New York, and Tennessee. The outbreak was linked to Freshway Foods Romaine lettuce. Three of the E. coli O145 victims have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. In response to this outbreak, there was a Freshway Foods recall of lettuce products that were sold to restaurants, cafeterias, and grocery stores, including including Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Market, and Marsh. The recalled lettuce may have been sold at the deli counter or in a “grab and go” salad.
E. coli O145 Food Poisoning Information
E. coli O145 is similar to the more prevalent strain O157:H7 in that it is an enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) and a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). It is the Shiga toxins that can cause serious injury or death. E. coli O145 is part of a group of E. coli serotypes called non-O157 STEC.
Outbreaks linked to this serotype have been more of a problem in Europe and Australia, but the O145 strain is becoming an important public health problem in the United States.
Identifying strain O145 can be difficult1:
Unlike E. coli O157:H7 strains, which generally do not ferment sorbitol or have b-glucuronidase activity, the non–O157 STEC EHEC (including E. coli O145) do not have identifiable biochemical markers to facilitate screening for these pathogens.
Because identification is difficult, E. coli O145 infections are most likely underreported.
E. coli O145 has been associated with cases of bloody and non-bloody diarrhea, hemorrhagic colitis, and hemolytic uremic syndrome.
Reference: 1. Fratamico PM, DebRoy C, Miyamoto T, Liu Y, PCR detection of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O145 in food by targeting genes in the E. coli O145 O-antigen gene cluster and the shiga toxin 1 and shiga toxin 2 genes, Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2009 Jun;6(5):605-11.