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Genomics Study

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched the Emerging Infections Program (EIP) to develop centers of excellence in infectious disease surveillance and applied public health research in selected state health departments. The Oregon EIP is participating in the study described below.

Genomics Study

Study - Abstract

Background: Escherichia coli O157 (E. coli O157) and other Shiga-toxin-producing enterohemorrhagic E. coli (STEC) are estimated to cause over 110,000 illnesses, 3000 hospitalizations, and 90 deaths in the U.S. each year. Approximately 5-15% of persons infected with E. coli O157 develop hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), which is associated with substantial morbidity and mortality, and is the leading cause of renal failure in children. Relatively little is known about predisposing factors associated with the development of HUS among persons infected with STEC. Better understanding the human genetics associated with susceptibility to the disease will likely have a substantial and immediate impact on the development and application of new therapies, in addition to better defining the epidemiology of the disease. Studies of the effect of antimicrobial agents on susceptibility to HUS, for example, have been inconsistent and may in part be influenced by immunologic host factors.

Objectives: The aim of this study is to identify human genomic factors associated with the development of HUS among persons infected with STEC and calculate the proportion of disease risk attributable to these genetic factors.

Design: Cohort study.

Participants: All cases of STEC infection identified through the active surveillance will be offered enrollment in this study. All cases of HUS identified through FoodNet HUS active surveillance with a positive STEC test such as serology, EIA, or PCR, and not already included in FoodNet STEC surveillance, will be asked to enroll in the study.

Data collection: All eligible cases that agree to participate will be enrolled. Contact with the case will be made by the study coordinator, who will describe the study and offer to enroll them by telephone. If the patient agreed to participate, they will be asked to send saliva specimen to the Center for Human Genetics Research Laboratory at Vanderbilt University.

Outcome and analysis: DNA will be extracted and stored frozen until testing is performed. Because of the rapid advances being made in the field of human genetic screening, the precise genes to be tested could change based on new information that becomes available before the termination of this study. Because STEC vary in virulence, analyses will be stratified by various microbiological characteristics including serogroup and possibly serotype and known virulence factors. Data will be analyzed by FoodNet epidemiologists, CDC and Vanderbilt Center for Human Genetics.

Sponsor: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Start date: November 2008
Expected end date: December 2011

To see all Oregon Emerging Infections Program special studies go to EIP special studies.

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