EHEC O111:H8 strain and norovirus GII.4 Sydney [P16] causing an outbreak in a daycare center, Brazil, 2019

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Background: This study describes the investigation of an outbreak of diarrhea, hemorrhagic colitis (HC), and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) at a daycare center in southeastern Brazil, involving fourteen children, six staff members, six family members, and one nurse. All bacterial and viral pathogens detected were genetically characterized. Results: Two isolates of a strain of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) serotype O111:H8 were recovered, one implicated in a case of HUS and the other in a case of uncomplicated diarrhea. These isolates had a clonal relationship of 94% and carried the stx2a and eae virulence genes and the OI-122 pathogenicity island. The EHEC strain was determined to be a single-locus variant of sequence type (ST) 327. EHEC isolates were resistant to ofloxacin, doxycycline, tetracycline, ampicillin, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and intermediately resistant to levofloxacin and ciprofloxacin. Rotavirus was not detected in any samples, and norovirus was detected in 46.7% (14/30) of the stool samples, three of which were from asymptomatic staff members. The noroviruses were classified as the recombinant GII.4 Sydney [P16] by gene sequencing. Conclusion: In this outbreak, it was possible to identify an uncommon stx2a + EHEC O111:H8 strain, and the most recent pandemic norovirus strain GII.4 Sydney [P16]. Our findings reinforce the need for surveillance and diagnosis of multiple enteric pathogens by public health authorities, especially during outbreaks.




Spano, L. C., Guerrieri, C. G., Volpini, L. P. B., Schuenck, R. P., Goulart, J. P., Boina, E., … Fumian, T. M. (2021). EHEC O111:H8 strain and norovirus GII.4 Sydney [P16] causing an outbreak in a daycare center, Brazil, 2019. BMC Microbiology, 21(1).

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