The Scottish Health Protection Network (SHPN) has issued new guidance, replacing the 2013 'Guidance for the Public Health Management of Infection with Verotoxigenic Escherichia coli', which is designed to support the development of those arrangements and assist in response to E. coli cases by health protection teams, environmental health departments and other stakeholders. It is also part of a suite of materials that has been produced in parallel with, and it should be used alongside, the ‘Scottish STEC Enhanced Surveillance Form’.
Over a number of years, there has been a large amount of work to reduce the burden of disease from E. coli O157 through a host of interventions aimed at preventing, or minimising risk of, infection. However, cases still occur, both sporadically and in outbreaks, and rapid response to these situations is necessary for protection of the public health. Additionally, there has been an increase in the number of non-O157 STEC, and increasing evidence of the disease burden of E. coli O157 Shiga-toxin negative organisms.
This document notes the current epidemiology of E. coli in Scotland, including the increase in non-O157 STEC; expands and further details the local diagnostic and reference laboratory testing procedures currently available; and refreshes the advice on public health actions in light of the best available evidence.
The guidance can be accessed on our website.