The harmfulness of Escherichia coli 0104:H4 bacterium strain is determined not only by its genetic characteristics but also by the characteristics of the infected human organisms, being lethally dangerous for suppressed immune systems, Russian scientists believe.
Originally, the dangerous E Coli has been registered in the Northern Germany. The disease outbreak has claimed 17 deaths in Germany and one in Sweden so far. The WHO reports that cases have been registered in 10 European countries. According to the earlier information the disease had been caused by a rare E. coli strain of 0104:H4 serotype. This strain has been identified in seven infected people in Germany and one in Denmark.
According to the WHO, E. coli is commonly present in human and other mammalian intestinal systems. Most of its strains are harmless, but some of them, like enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) can cause dangerous food-born diseases.