This co-ordination project will form a durable multidisciplinary network of international research groups working on E. coli O157 and other potentially pathogenic strains and serotypes of E. coli with the ultimate aim of reducing the burden of related illness.
Key issues to be addressed include:
<LI> methods of detection and molecular characterisation of E.coli O157 and other potentially pathogenic strains and serotypes of E. coli;
<LI> epidemiology and transmission of E. coli O157 and other potentially pathogenic strains and serotypes of E. coli;
<LI> pathogenecity, virulence and emerging pathogenic E. coli;
<LI> ecology of E. coli O157 and other potentially pathogenic strains and serotypes of E. coli and
<LI> control and management of E. coli O157 and other potentially pathogenic strains and serotypes of E. coli.
This network builds on and expands on a previous successful E. coli Concerted Action (CT 98 3935) and will aim to:
<LI> improve public health protection;
<LI> co-ordinate research outputs and
<LI> maximise collaboration between different disciplines and within and between Europe and other continents including INCO countries.
Escherichia coli form part of the natural gastro-intestinal flora of man and warm-blooded animals. Although most E. coli are harmless commensal organisms, there are many pathogenic strains which can cause a variety of illness in man and animals.
There is little doubt that more pathogenic E. coli groups will evolve and be recognised in the future. The research / surveillance community must be proactive in recognising and sharing information on emergent strains so that they can be addressed in a timely manner.
Despite considerable research on E. coli O157, there are still areas where a fundamental understanding of these organisms is lacking. Furthermore, technical deficiencies, a lack of harmonisation across disciplines along the food chain and between continents have prevented optimum gain from past and ongoing research.
For more information about this project, please visit the <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/research/biosociety/food_quality/projects/150_en.ht…; target="_blank">European Commission Food Quality and Safety in Europe</a> Web site.