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Volume 4, Number 4—December 1998

Dispatch

Sporadic STEC O157 Infection: Secondary Household Transmission in Wales

Sharon M. Parry* and Roland L. Salmon†Comments to Author 
Author affiliations: *Welsh Combined Centres for Public Health, Cardiff, United Kingdom; and †PHLS Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, Cardiff, United Kingdom

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Table

Probability of isolating Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157 from household contacts, by age group of index case-patient and age group of household contact, for all contactsa

Age group of
household contact Age group of index case-patient (%)
< 1 yr 1-4 yr 5 5-14 yr 15 + yr Total
< 1 yr 0/0 (0) 0/3 (0) 0/1 (0) 0/0 (0) 0/4 (0)
1-4 yr 1/2 (50) 3/8 (38) 1/3 (33) 0/3 (0) 5/16 (31)
5-14 yr 0/0 (0) 1/11 (9) 0/7 (0) 0/8 (0) 1/26 (4)
15 + yr 2/6 (33) 5/49 (10) 2/19 (10) 0/61 (0) 9/135 (7)
Total 3/8 (40) 9/71 (13) 3/30 (10) 0/72 (0) 15/181 (8)

aAll initial fecal samples submitted to laboratories serving the resident population of Wales between 1 January 1994 and 31 December 1995 were cultured on sorbitol MacConkey agar (Oxoid) and incubated at 37°C for 18 hours. All types of morphologic appearance of nonsorbitol-fermenting colonies were tested. Five colonies of each type were picked and tested for latex agglutination with O157 antiserum (Oxoid) and biochemically confirmed as E. coli by API 20E (bioMerieux sa69280 Marcy L'Etoile, France). E.coli O157 isolates were referred to the Public Health Laboratory Service Laboratory of Enteric Pathogens for confirmation and testing for Shiga cytotoxin production.

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