Despite the fact that several other foods, such as produce, dairy products, and also drinking water can act as vehicles for the transmission of STECs, reports have been well documented regarding the high prevalence of STECs in ruminants. According to recent reports, STECs are estimated to cause more than 265,000 illnesses each year in the United States, with more than 3,600 hospitalizations and 30 deaths. Typically STEC infections cause diarrhea, but some patients may develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a severe complication characterized by renal failure, hemolytic anemia, and thrombocytopenia that can be fatal.
Most STEC infection and cases of HUS in the U.S. have been caused by STEC O157, however, non-O157 STEC have also caused U.S. outbreaks. In light of new developments in detection methods to rapidly and accurately detect STECs, it is now time to get an update on the current efforts on isolation, detection, and control of STECs in beef.
This symposium will focus on any recent changes over the past five years in the prevalence of STECs in beef cattle, development of novel, state-of-the-art methods for detection of STECs in beef cattle and current efforts to reduce the prevalence of STECs at the pre- and post-harvest stages, along with regulatory updates on reducing the risk of STECs in beef.