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Features Of Bacteria That Caused Epidemic E. Coli In Europe Revealed By Genomics Analysis

An outbreak of E. coli infection was detected in Germany about two weeks ago. Health authorities say that over 1500 people have become infected and 17 have died so far. Cases of E. coli infection have been reported in several other European countries, including the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, France, Norway, Spain and Switzerland.

Analysis results carried out by scientists at BGI (Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention), the Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, the Academy of Military Medical Sciences and the University Medical Centre, Hamburg, reveal that this infection is caused by a completely new E. coli strain.

The scientists report that they have just obtained the genome sequence of this new E. coli strain. Their findings show that it carries several genes making it resistant to antibiotic treatments - it is multi-resistant and hard to treat.

The University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf is treating a considerable number of infected patients from northern Germany. BGI informs that it is liaising and cooperating closely with their European colleagues. The BGI effort is being coordinated by Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Liang Yang from the Department of Systems Biology at the Technical University of Denmark.

Dr. Yang's research focuses on bacterial pathogenesis, biofilm physiology, interspecies interactions, and microbial evolution.
 
 

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