Friday, June 10, 2011

Its time to resume Cucumbering :P

Its Time to resume Cucumbering :P
Cucumbers are free from E coli. They were just blame:D

After a month of searching, testing [and blaming cucumber, tomatoes] thousands of vegetables, Germany said on Friday, June 11 that bloody E. coli bacteria that have killed 31 people and triggered economic upheaval among European produce suppliers almost certainly came from contaminated bean sprouts grown at an organic farm in Northern Germany releasing cucumber from the culprit-list.

"It's the sprouts," Reinhard Burger, the president of the Robert Koch Institute, Germany's national disease centre told a news conference on the outbreak of Enterohaemorrhagic O104:H4 E. coli (EHEC) in northern Germany.

What are sprouts......?
A sprout is a shoot of plant, is produced when a seed starts growing into a vegetable. Its called Kwanti in Nepal. Sprouting is the practice of germinating seeds to be eaten either raw or cooked. They are a convenient way to have fresh vegetables for salads, or otherwise, in any season and can be germinated at home or produced industrially. Sprouts are believed to be highly nutritious and rich in enzymes which promote good health. Sprouts have resulted in dozens of outbreaks of lethal infection with Salmonella and E. coli[recently in Germany EHEC] over the past few decades. Raw sprouts can be heaven for bacteria like E coli and Salmonella. The hospitable environment, warm, indoor and regularly misted with water on sprouts allows microbes to live comfortably and grow vigorously. 
Why E coli and Salmonella Love Sprouts???
Sill Unanswered Questions [via @aetiology]

How the implicated sprouts were contaminated. Did it originate in the seeds? (If so, still from where?) Was it human-to-sprout contamination from a sick worker on the farm? (If so, where again did the worker pick it up?) Still so many unanswered questions, but at least this should let some of the other farmers' lives get back on track.

PS: The government says pregnant women, small kids, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems should avoid raw sprouts of all kinds. That may require asking a restaurant or deli to leave them out, since they’re so often added for some stealth crunch.

Friday, June 3, 2011

What The Hell is this E coli??????????? FAQs[ Frequently Asked Questions] on E coli

Escherichia coli and its outbreak in Germany - FAQs[ Frequently Asked Questions]

1. What is Escherichia coli or E coli?
Escherichia coli bacterium

Escherichia coli is a Gram-negative rod-shaped bacterium [Plural: Bacteria] that is commonly found in the lower intestine of human n animal. This bacterium is the most human friendly and environment friendy bug. Most E. coli strains are harmless, but some [grand-children's of E coli], such as serotype EHEC O157:H7, O104:H4 strains , can cause serious food poisoning in humans. The harmless strains are part of the normal flora [bacteria which are found in or on our bodies without causing disease] of the gut, and can benefit their hosts by producing vitamin K and by preventing the establishment of pathogenic bacteria within the intestine and hell lot other beneficial actvities

2. Why E coli is trending around the globe [especially in Europe]?
E coli bacterium has been found responsible for the outbreak that occured recently in Germany, which has killed at least 18 people so far and between 1,600 and 2,000 are sick, including nearly 400 suffering from severe kidney symptoms. The infection has spread to 12 european countries till date.

3. Is E coli so dangerous?

No, most of the E. coli strains are harmless and can survive in the intestines with no effect[and with some beneficial effect], but some, such as EHEC serotype O104:H4 E. coli strain is creating havoc in Germany. These strains release toxins that cause sometimes fatal food poisoning in humans resulting in hemorrhagic diarrhea, and occasionally to kidney failure and affects the blood's ability to clot, the condition called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) which is been most reported in Germany outbreak.

4. How it is transmitted?
Transmission is via the fecal-oral route, and most illness has been associated with eating undercooked and contaminated vegetables [salad], swimming in or drinking contaminated water, [Human to Human transmission has not been recorded but E. coli is present in feces and can be spread by poor bathroom habits, such as failure to wash one's hands after defecation]

5. What is the strain of E coli of German Outbreak?
Sequence analysis[a molecular technique] indicated this bacterium is an EHEC serotype O104:H4 E. coli strain; however, this is a new serotype — not previously involved in any E. coli outbreaks.
One way of transferrring genes between bacteria[not Horizontal Gene Type], which evolve one daughter from two parents with some nasty characters :P
WHO reports it as ''Super-Bug_never-Seen-Before'.  And this strain is believed to be evolved by Horizontal Gene Transfer[a way transfrerring gene between two strains of bacteria resulting in more virulent strain it it may have evolved from two parent strains which made EHEC O104:H4 more nasty]

6. How it is cured?
Antibiotic Resistance Bugs

There is no evidence that antibiotics improve the course of disease. This "super-toxic" strain of E. coli contains several antibiotic-resistant[aminoglycoside, macrolides and Beta-lactam antibiotics] genes and which is creating truoble in treatment
Antibiotic Resistant Bug...Super Bug

7. Is this outbreak likely to spread to Nepal?
As far as, nothing indicates that the outbreak will spread to Nepal, since we don't import any of our vegetables from Europe.

8. How is this deadly E coli originated? Sources? Is this cucumber, tomatoes, spinaches?
Cucumbers and Raw vegetables

Scientists suspect that the deadly E. coli might have been in manure used to fertilize vegetables or contaminated during packaging, transporting, cleaning, that travelled from farm to fork. And still the exact source of this contamination, how (and where) this new strain may have evolved, remains a mystery.

9. "Germany accused Spain of being responsible for the E coli contamination in Germany" Is this right?

German authorities initially pointed to contaminated cucumbers imported from Spain as being the source of the bacteria, but Germany later said further tests showed that those particular cucumbers did not cause the outbreak. For this, Spain is furious that Germany pointed the finger of blame before conclusive proof was in place. And Spain would be demanding compensation for all European vegetable producers who had experienced losses because of the health scare, said Spain Authorities.

10. How can i protect myself from E. coli in vegetables?

Salad vegetables[cucumber, tomatoes, onions, spinaches etc] that haven't been cooked (which would normally kill off most E. coli bacteria) is the main source of E coli. So avoiding raw vegetables and washing vegetables thoroughly prevent you from E. coli [remember all E coli are not pathogenic].

Back then, I lived very unhealthy, and only ate salad, cucumber, tomatoes... (from Der Tagesspiegel)
 And last not the least, here are some Intresting Tweets  relating E coli outbreak in Germany :D