National Outbreak of Escherichia coli O157 Phage Type 32 in Scotland (September - October 2015) - Report of the Incident Management Team

Publication Date: 28 April 2016

On Wednesday 30 September 2015, Health Protection Scotland (HPS) were informed by the Scottish E. coli O157 / VTEC Reference Laboratory (SERL) of six cases of E. coli O157 Phage Type (PT) 32 with an indistinguishable Multilocus Variable Number Tandem Repeat Analysis (MLVA) pattern.

This MLVA pattern had not been seen in Scotland since MLVA typing of E. coli O157 began in December 2012. Further investigations were initiated and a Problem Assessment Group (PAG) was scheduled to take place on the morning of Friday 2 October. On Thursday 1 October a further case of E. coli O157 PT 32 (MLVA awaited) was reported from another NHS board area and on Friday 2 October an outbreak was declared and an Incident Management Team (IMT) was formed to investigate and manage the incident.

The IMT was led by HPS and included representation from the relevant NHS board health protection teams, the SERL and Food Standards Scotland (FSS).

In total twelve cases of E. coli O157 PT 32 were identified in relation to this incident. Following its investigations, the IMT concluded that the most likely source of the outbreak was venison products which had been purchased raw and cooked at home.

This report describes the investigation and findings of the IMT and the control measures implemented, and sets out the lessons learned and recommendations from this incident.

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Health Protection Scotland
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