REVIEW PAPER
Extra-intestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli – threat connected with food-borne infections
 
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Department of Microbiology, National Veterinary Research Institute, Puławy, Poland
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Bernard Wasiński   

National Veterinary Research Institute, Partyzantów 57, 24-100, Puławy, Poland
 
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ABSTRACT
Infections caused by extra-intestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) are a serious public health problem worldwide. The most troublesome are urinary tract infections, severe neonatal meningitis, serious intraabdominal infections, and more rarely, pneumonia, intravascular-device infections, osteomyelitis, soft-tissue infections or sometimes bacteraemia. These strains are also able cause significant economic losses in animal husbandry. A thorough understanding of ExPEC ecology, reservoirs, chains and dynamics of transmission can greatly contribute to a reduction in the burden of ExPEC-associated disease. The ability of E. coli (including ExPEC) to exist and survive in various ecological niches impedes the precise recognition and indication of transmission routes most important for individual infections cases. Among many identified ExPEC reservoirs, animal companion and animals providing food seem to be important sources of infection for human; however, the real level of risk connected with potential transmission of these bacteria remains unclear. Food is indicated as one of potential ways of transmission. Despite a quite high number of reports, many of the uncertainties are expected to be reliably elucidated. This review presents most important data on the current state of knowledge concerning the potential role of food in ExPEC transmission. The possible consequences of ExPEC infections in human and animals are briefly described.
 
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