According to the latest data, the number of E. coli infections reported in Austria in 2021 has increased.
In 2021, the National E. coli Reference Center processed 1,437 specimens. coli. Overall, 1,286 human samples, 79 food samples, and 35 pet food samples were analyzed.
A total of 476 human stool samples tested positive for Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). Of these, 310 were identified as producing Shiga toxins, compared to 242 in 2020.
In 2021, only 34 strains of E. coli are O157, the rest are non-O157. Of the latter, there were 25 O26, 26 O103, 3 O111 and 12 O145 isolates. In the Austrian Epidemiological Notification System (EMS), 384 cases were reported, up from 304 in 2020.
In Upper Austria, 53 cases were reported to the EMS in 2020, compared to 104 in 2021. The same state sent 123 human samples to the National Reference Center in 2020, compared with 566 in 2021.
HUS and Patient Details
Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) 18 cases, 12 females, 6 males, 11 confirmed cases of children under 15 years old, 5 of the 18 cases were caused by STEC O26: H11. That’s up from 11 cases in 2020.
One of the 10-year-old girls from Upper Austria was caused by a STEC/enteroaggregative E. coli hybrid strain O104:H4, which is very similar to the 2011 German resemblance.
There were 12 domestic outbreaks with 2 to 5 cases and 1 STEC O157:H7 outbreak with 5 cases due to contamination of drinking water reported by EMS.
46 of 1,286 human samples tested positive for the presence of Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC). Three of the four samples were positive for enteroinvasive Escherichia coli (EIEC) and enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC).
As in previous years, the majority of STEC cases reported in EMS occurred in the age group 0 to 4 years with 107 individuals. This is followed by those aged 5 to 14 and those over 65. Most STEC-positive samples were registered during the summer months of July and August, but also in September.
EMS reported 1 death. The patient was a 79-year-old female from Upper Austria with cardiorenal failure due to STEC O91:H14-induced diarrhea.