The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has published a rapid risk assessment due to an increase in OXA-244-producing Escherichia coli (E. coli) in the EU/EEA and the UK since 2013.
Following an enquiry in ECDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Information System-Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infections (EPIS AMR-HAI) regarding an increasing number of cases of OXA-244-producing E. coli and identification of a cluster of E. coli sequence type (ST) 38 in Germany, national public health reference laboratories in EU/EEA countries were invited to submit whole genome sequencing (WGS) data to ECDC for a European-level analysis. The pooled European data showed that 33 cases of OXA-244-producing E. coli were detected between 2013 and 2015, followed by 31 cases in 2016, 21 cases in 2017, 83 cases in 2018 and 116 cases in 2019. Increased use of WGS may have enabled more discriminatory identification of cases from sample collections and contributed to the observed increase in cases.
The source and the route of transmission of OXA-244-producing E. coli in the EU/EEA and the UK is currently unclear. An overlap in time and place was identified for a few cases in Germany, indicating possible person-to-person transmission. There is a need for further investigation to determine the source and routes of transmission of OXA-244-producing E. coli in the EU/EEA and implement adequate control measures.
Source: ECDC, 18 February 2020