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Morphology Aerobic and motile aerobic gram-negative rod. Produce Vero and Shiga toxins.

Hemorrhagic colitis, intestinal disease accompanied by cramps and abdominal pain; initially watery, followed by bloody diarrhea; low grade fever; last about 8 days; 5-10% of hemorrhagic colitis victims may develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).


Yes, by direct or indirect contact with infected animals, feces and contaminated food.

Health Hazards
Host Range Humans and animals.
Modes of Transmission 
Ingestion of contaminated food, fecal-oral transmission, and person-to-person transmission
Signs and Symptoms  Intestinal disease accompanied by cramps and abdominal pain, initially watery followed by bloody diarrhea, low grade fever
Infectious Dose Appears to be low (10 organisms by ingestion).
Incubation Period   2-8 days
Medical Precautions/Treatment
None available. 
None available.
Treatment Electrolyte fluid therapy. Antibiotics may be administered in very severe cases.
Monitor for symptoms, confirm bacteriologically, DNA probe to detect Verotoxins VT1 and VT2
MSU Requirements 
Report any exposures
Laboratory Hazards
Laboratory Acquired Infections (LAIs)
4 reported cases since 1981
Contaminated food and feces. Cultures, frozen stocks, other samples described in IBC protocol.
Supplemental References
Canadian MSDS:
NIH Guidelines
Risk Group & Containment Requirements
Risk Group 2

Agents that are associated with human disease which is rarely serious and for which preventive or therapeutic interventions are often available.

For all procedures involving suspected or known infectious specimen or cultures.
For all procedures utilizing infected animals.
Spill Procedures
Notify others working in the lab. Remove PPE and don new PPE. Cover area of the spill with absorbent material and add fresh 1:10 bleach:water. Allow 20 munutes (or as directed) of contact time. After 20 minutes, cleanup and dispose of materials.
  • Immediately notify all personnel in the lab and clear all personnel from the area. Remove any contaminated PPE/clothing and leave the lab. 
  • Secure the area by locking doors, posting signage and guarding the area to keep people out of the space. 
For assistance, contact MSU's Biosafety Officer (406-994-6733) or Safety and Risk Management (406-994-2711).
Exposure Procedures
Mucous membrane
Flush eyes, mouth, or nose for 5 minutes at eyewash station.
Other Exposures
Wash area with soap and water for 5 minutes.
Immediately report incident to supervisor, complete a First Report of Injury form, and submit to Safety and Risk Management.
Medical Follow-up
During business hours: Bridger Occupational Health 3406 Laramie Drive. Weekdays 8am -6pm.  Weekends 9am-5pm
After business hours: Bozeman Deaconess Hospital Emergency Room 915 Highland Blvd Bozeman, MT
Susceptible to 1:10 bleach:water, 70 % ethanol, and glutaraldehyde, accelerated hydrogen peroxide
Inactivated moist heat (121°C for 30 min) and dry heat (1 hour at 160-170 C).
Survival Outside Host
Can survive well in contaminated feces, soil and certain foods (i.e. hamburger meat).
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Minimum PPE Requirements
Lab coat, disposable gloves, safety glasses, closed toed shoes, long pants
Additional Precautions
Additioanl PPE may be required depending on lab specific SOPs and IBC Protocol.