Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157, a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), is an important foodborne pathogen, responsible for numerous outbreaks of gastrointestinal infection worldwide. It is now apparent, however, that E. coli isolates of serogroups other than O157 (termed non-O157 STEC) also make a significant contribution to human diarrhoeal disease and, in an increasing number of countries including the USA, Australia and many in Europe, non-O157 STEC predominate
[2,3]. Although improvements in controlling hazards associated with O157 over the past two decades are likely to have contributed to a decrease in incidence of E. coli O157:H7, for example, in the meat industry [4], the increase in number of non-O157 STEC serotypes has been most likely due to changes in screening protocols resulting in increased detection of these strains.

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