Thursday, June 02, 2011

E. Coli Adaptive Mutation Could Hide Contamination Source

Now! Don't get me wrong! I am science-biology illiterate and I am bio-genetic illiterate .. but I have been observing the 'new toxic strain' of E coli thinking that one has to 'think outside of the box' .. and also .. that a challenge (even when tragic) allows or enables the human species to expand, develop, learn something new and adapt.

If I was a micro-biologist (which I am not), I would be troubled by the fact that I could not find the source of the E coli contamination causing so much sorrow in the world of human beings. That would be my number one puzzle/consideration!

Then I would think: Is it possible that the identified strain of E coli, that is apparently causing extreme symptoms and rapid deaths, is mutating into another form inside the human intestine?

Being biotech illiterate I may be using the wrong terms, such as 'adaptive mutation'; but I am sure some of you know what I mean - even if the terms I use are scientifically incorrect in this context!

What I am trying to say is this: If I was a Molecular Geneticist, I would be concerned that the potential contamination source of the deadly E coli strain (raw vegetables) appears to be a different strain from the E. coli 0104 in the intestines of patients suffering associated health problems.

Although there are claims that this is a 'new strain' of E coli bacterium, a mutant blend of two different varieties never seen before, this proposition is so-so .. Because, of course, it is not 'new' .. it is simply a recombining of already existing strains. It is not NEW .. it is DIFFERENT!

The doctors are doing everything they can to deal with sick people showing symptoms related to the recombined E coli 0104 appearing to cause HUS (hemolytic uremic syndrome), which attacks the kidneys and can and can cause seizures, strokes and comas. But what is the source?

It seemed to be that the source was raw food eaten by the people who rapidly showed symptoms of colon-collapse-disorder, collapse of the kidneys and associated complications. Therefore, German health officials warned of E coli contamination of raw cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce.

Perhaps this is a whole new area of science? I also find it strange that the best experts in Germany (and around the world) cannot find the source of contamination! This is where I begin to wonder if the strain of E coli 0104 identified inside the compromised intestines mutated from the strain of contamination - thus hiding the source of contamination ... but I have a good imagination! Take it with a pinch of salt!

Those trying to identify the mutating recombined E coli strain do not so much have to understand its underlying signature; but have to understand it behaviour .. there is a subtle difference between the two.

Molecular genetics in China is providing answers in the frantic effort to solve the urgent food safety crisis in EU

Rapid work in China has applied third generation DNA decoding technologies to decode the German outbreak disease bacterium genome. It has revealed the germ to be a hybrid (which can be described alternatively as a chimera, a true natural GMO).

The novel germ has some virulence abilities of a class of pathogenic E. coli bacteria called entero-aggregative E. coli (#EAEC). It has similarities to a bacterial strain called EAEC 55989 , which was isolated in the Central African Republic and is known to cause serious diarrhea. EAEC typically carry extra mini-chromosomes called plasmids. The German outbreak strain has the typical
Read: Horizontal Gene Transfer

Escherichia coli, better known as E. coli, is a common inhabitant of the human gut. Most E. coli strains are harmless but a few can cause serious illness and even death. One such group, known as enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) or Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC), cause bloody diarrhoea, and in some people, Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome (HUS) which can lead to anaemia, kidney failure and death.

Adaptive mutation is common in E. coli, say IU researchers
The quickening of genetic mutation rates in bacteria may not only happen when the microorganisms find themselves in strange and stressful circumstances. A new report in Molecular Microbiology by Indiana University Bloomington researchers shows that at least one bacterium, Escherichia coli, ratchets up its "adaptive mutation" machinery when it simply runs out of food.

Escherichia coli - Educate yourselves: Wiki-E.coli
Resource: Bill Marler: About E coli -*- E coli 0104
E. coli Sources: Vehicles of Contamination
Green Onions and E Coli Risk