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Outbreak of Shiga toxin--producing Escherichia coli O111 infections associated with a correctional facility dairy--Colorado, 2010.

Comstock N; Towle M; Warner A; Reynolds S; Durso L; Campbell C; Kiefer M; Bosch SA
JAMA J Am Med Assoc 2012 Aug; 308(5):447-449
On April 20, 2010, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) was notified by correctional authorities regarding three inmates with bloody diarrhea at a minimum-security correctional facility. The facility, which houses approximately 500 inmates, is a designated work center where inmates are employed or receive vocational training. Approximately 70 inmates work at an onsite dairy, which provides milk to all state-run correctional facilities in Colorado. CDPHE immediately began an investigation and was later assisted by the High Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety at Colorado State University and by CDC. This report describes the results of the investigation, which determined that the illnesses were caused by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O111 (STEC O111) infections. During April-July, 10 inmates at the facility received a diagnosis of laboratory-confirmed STEC O111 infection, and a retrospective prevalence study of 100 inmates found that, during March-April, 14 other inmates had experienced diarrheal illness suspected of being STEC O111 infection. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) testing indicated that STEC O111 isolates from inmates matched STEC O111 isolates from cattle at the onsite dairy. An environmental investigation determined that inmates employed at the dairy might have acquired STEC O111 infection on the job or transported contaminated clothing or other items into the main correctional facility and kitchen, thereby exposing other inmates. To prevent similar outbreaks in correctional facilities, authorities should consult with public health officials to design and implement effective infection control measures.
Disease-incidence; Disease-control; Infectious-diseases; Infection-control; Microorganisms; Correctional-facilities; Dairy-products; Agriculture; Agricultural-products; Food-contaminants; Law-enforcement-workers; Toxins; Bacterial-infections; Electrophysiological-examinations; Diagnostic-tests; Animal-husbandry; Animal-products; Contaminated-food; Work-practices; Control-systems; Controlled-environment
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-009842; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U54-OH-008085; B08292012
Issue of Publication
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Source Name
Journal of the American Medical Association
Performing Organization
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Page last reviewed: March 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division