Current Gastroenterology Reports

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 301–306

Escherichia coli O157: What every internist and gastroenterologist should know


DOI: 10.1007/s11894-009-0044-0

Cite this article as:
Bavaro, M.F. Curr Gastroenterol Rep (2009) 11: 301. doi:10.1007/s11894-009-0044-0


Infections with Escherichia coli O157:H7 have gained media attention in recent years because of cases associated with unusual sources (eg, produce and swimming pools). Although most adults recover without sequelae, children and the elderly are more likely to develop complications (eg, hemolytic uremic syndrome and death). The diagnosis typically has been made by culture; however, newer handheld immunoassays and polymerase chain reaction technology have led to more rapid detection of this important pathogen in stools, food, and water. Treatment is largely supportive; nonetheless, new methods to neutralize or bind toxin, such as probiotics, monoclonal antibodies, and recombinant bacteria, are showing promise to treat patients infected with E. coli O157:H7. The role of antibiotics in relation to this condition remains unclear.

Copyright information

© Current Medicine Group, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Infectious Diseases DivisionNaval Medical Center San DiegoSan DiegoUSA

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