Wednesday, June 8, 2011

'Indians could actually be refrectory to the German E. coli strain' - Lothar Wieler

My friend, Lothar Wieler, called this evening from Berlin and informed that they are now tracing the history of the bacteria, and will be out in the field going after cows, trash and soil to know the natural descent of the outbreak strain! so that its kinships are established. This is now the natural scientific way out as the latest analysis released by the BJI indicates that the two German strains (01-09591 originally isolated in 2001 and TY2482 from the 2011 outbreak) have clonal profiles for all 12 virulence/fitness genes and 7 MLST housekeeping genes (100% identity). However, at some point over this 10-year period, the new 2011 outbreak strain might have accumulated mutations/plasmids that conferred ability to resist many additional types of antibiotics. In simple words, the source of the German EHEC outbreak is home grown - their own EAEC strain from a 2001 outbreak.

I am hopeful Lothar and his team will succeed in their efforts. We discussed also the possibility that the new isolate being interoaggregative could become pandemic if certain patients turn chronic carriers and could take the bug with them on travel routes. The EU therefore should be proactive on containment of this outbreak within the boundaries of Germany. Lothar, (who is always surprised and amused on visibly unhygienic conditions in certain parts of India, such as heaps of garbage, open drains etc., and apparently healthy people with no institutionalized outbreaks! ) then laughed loud to say Indians could actually be immune to the EHEC like strains - so no worries!! and, I agree. So sometimes the cow dung around us could be 'auspicious' in many ways!

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