Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Article in the New York Times -- Scientists Look to Vaccines in the War on E. Coli, by Andrew Pollack. Here's an excerpt:
Shousun C. Szu, a scientist at the National Institutes of Health, says the best way to prevent people from being poisoned by deadly E. coli would be to vaccinate all infants against the bacteria.
Graeme McRae, a Canadian biotechnology executive, says it would be more practical to inoculate cows instead.
Vaccines for people and for cattle are just two approaches under development to prevent or treat food poisoning by the strain E. coli O157:H7.
Right now, scientists can do little medically to fight the pathogen, which was responsible for two severe outbreaks last fall, one from contaminated bagged spinach and a second from tainted lettuce served in chain taco restaurants.
The main approach has been to try to prevent contamination through careful handling, rigorous inspections and government regulation.