Childcare centers and water primary source of dangerous E. coli in Ireland

Verotoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC) are significant for their low infectious dose, their potential clinical severity and the frequency with which they generate outbreaks. describe the relative importance of different outbreak transmission routes for VTEC infection in Ireland, we reviewed outbreak notification data for the period 2004–2012, describing the burden and characteristics of foodborne, waterborne, animal contact and person-to-person outbreaks.

Outbreaks where person-to-person spread was reported as the sole transmission route accounted for more than half of all outbreaks and outbreaks cases, most notably in childcare facilities. The next most significant transmission route was waterborne spread from untreated or poorly treated private water supplies.

The focus for reducing incidence of VTEC should be on reducing waterborne and person-to-person transmission, by publicizing Health Service Executive materials developed for consumers on private well management, and for childcare facility managers and public health professionals on prevention of person-to-person spread.

Verotoxigenic Escherichia coli transmission in Ireland: a review of notified outbreaks, 2004–2012

Epidemiology and Infection, Volume 144, Issue 5, April 2016, pages 917-926, DOI:

Garvey, A. Carroll, E. McNamara, and P. J. McKeown