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E. coli O157

Test Code: D65008
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Clinical Utility

This assay is only available as part of a panel and cannot be ordered individually.

Escherichia coli O157, a member of the pathogenic enterohemorrhagic E. coli strains (also known as verocytotoxin- producing or Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC)), is an uncommon but serious cause of gastroenteritis.1 E. coli O157 is one of hundreds of serotypes of E. coli, which are Gram-negative, rod-shaped bacteria in the family Enterobacteriaceae. Infection with E. coli O157 often causes hemorrhagic colitis (HC) but can also cause non-hemmorrhagic diarrhea. In approximately five percent of infected individuals, E. coli O157 results in hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can be life threatening. Children under five and the elderly are more susceptible to this complication.2 Almost half of the E. coli O157 outbreaks worldwide come from food.1 In 2009, the notification rate of STEC including E. coli O157 infection and non-O157 was 0.75 per 100, 000 in the EU with E. coli O157 the most commonly identified. During the same year, the incidence of E. coli O157 was 0.98 per 100, 000 in the US and 1.8 per 100,000 in Canada.3-5


1.  Pennington H.  Escherichia coli O157. Lancet.  2010 Oct 23:376(9750):1428-35.

2.  Lim JY, Yoon J, Hovde CJ. A brief overview of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and its plasmid O157. J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2010 Jan: 20(1):5-14.

3.  References European Food Safety Authority, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. The European Union Summary Report on Trends and Sources of Zoonoses, Zoonotic Agents and Foodborne Outbreaks in 2009. EFSA Journal.  2011;9(3):2090. [378pp.]

4.  National Enteric Surveillance Program (NESP). 2009 Annual Summary of Laboratory Surveillance Data for Enteric Pathogens in Canada. Public Health Agency of Canada.

5.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet): FoodNet Surveillance Report for 2009 (Final Report). Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CDC. 2011. Available from:

Specimens are approved for testing in New York only when indicated in the Specimen Information field above.

The CPT codes provided are based on Viracor Eurofins' interpretation of the American Medical Association's Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes and are provided for general informational purposes only. CPT coding is the sole responsibility of the billing party. Questions regarding coding should be addressed to your local Medicare carrier. Viracor Eurofins assumes no responsibility for billing errors due to reliance on the CPT codes illustrated in this material.

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