Open-source genomic analysis of Shiga-toxin-producing E. coli O104:H4.
An outbreak caused by Shiga-toxin–producing Escherichia coli O104:H4 occurred in Germany in May and June of 2011, with more than 3000 persons infected. Here, we report a cluster of cases associated with a single family and describe an open-source genomic analysis of an isolate from one member of the family. This analysis involved the use of rapid, bench-top DNA sequencing technology, open-source data release, and prompt crowd-sourced analyses. In less than a week, these studies revealed that the outbreak strain belonged to an enteroaggregative E. coli lineage that had acquired genes for Shiga toxin 2 and for antibiotic resistance.