Medical Microbiology Reports

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Terrestrial Gastropod transmission of E. coli O157:H7 in leafy green produce

Reviewing the existing literature on animal fecal-oral contamination in crude leafy produce and preliminary data on the possible role of the Gastropods’ mucus as a vector and reservoir of E. coli O157:H7. The importance of sanitation and clean produce as well as water is that it becomes a fundamental aspect in prevention against enteric pathogens, such as E. coli O157:H7, which can cause premature death and hemolytic uremic syndrome upon the populace. Therefore, the search for dispersion vectors of E. coli within leafy greens is crucial and since they are mostly eaten uncooked people are more prone to get infected. As studies have indicated, snails and slugs are reported predators of crude leafy produce and have been attributed to contain E. coli in the slime of particular species. Thus, it could be possible to determine a possible association between increased leafy green produce outbreaks and the dispersion and inoculation of E. coli in terrestrial Gastropods in the United States and other countries as well.

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