Chinese agency says European E. coli is new strain; Russia sets ban
June 2nd, 2011
10:29 AM ET

Chinese agency says European E. coli is new strain; Russia sets ban

Russia has announced a ban on fresh vegetable imports from the European Union in the wake of a deadly outbreak from a possibly new E. coli strain that has swept across parts of Europe.

It was a Chinese research institute blamed the outbreak on a new E. coli strain, though the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the strain has been seen before.

Scientists at the Beijing Genomic Institute said the outbreak of infection in Germany is caused by a new "super-toxic" E. coli strain.

The CDC said the strain is very rare and added that while it is not aware of any cases reported in the United States, it is aware of a few reports of the strain from other countries. Britain's Health Protection Agency has said that the strain suspected in the outbreak is "rare" and "seldom seen in the UK."

The outbreak is responsible for 15 deaths in Germany and one in Sweden, according to the World Health Organization, and has sickened more than 1,000 people in at least 10 countries.

Russia imposed the vegetable ban, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Thursday, because "no one wants to get sick. It is a natural protective measure taken in response to events that are happening in Europe today."

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soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Dodad

    Potential hazards of horizontal gene transfer from genetic engineering

    Generation of new cross-species viruses that cause disease
    Generation of new bacteria that cause diseases
    Spreading drug and antibiotic resistance genes among the viral and bacterial pathogens, making infections untreatable
    Random insertion into genomes of cells resulting in harmful effects including cancer
    Reactivation of dormant viruses, present in all cells and genomes, which may cause diseases
    Spreading new genes and gene constructs that have never existed
    Multiplication of ecological impacts due to all of the above.

    June 4, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
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