Review of the State of Knowledge on Verotoxigenic Escherichia coli and the Role of Whole Genome Sequencing as an Emerging Technology Supporting Regulatory Food Safety in Canada

Contributing Editor: Alexander Gill, Health Canada


  • Burton Blais, Canadian Food Inspection Agency
  • Catherine Carrillo, Canadian Food Inspection Agency
  • Kelvin Chau, Canadian Food Inspection Agency
  • Rita Finley, Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Penelope Kirsch, Canadian Food Inspection Agency
  • Marie-Claude Lavoie, Health Canada
  • Amalia Martinez, Health Canada
  • Marina Steele, Canadian Food Inspection Agency



Mandates and Roles of Canadian Federal Food Safety Partners

  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency
  • Health Canada
  • Public Health Agency of Canada

Verotoxigenic Escherichia coli

  • VTEC: Definition
  • VTEC as a Health Hazard
  • VTEC Infectivity
  • Features of Vulnerable Populations
  • Summary

VTEC Virulence Markers and their Association with Severity of Illness

  • Verotoxin
  • Locus of Enterocyte Effacement (LEE)
  • Aggregative Adhesion (AA)
  • Locus of Adhesion and Autoaggregation
  • Other Virulence Factors
  • Hybrid Pathotypes
  • Subtyping
    • Serotyping
  • Summary

Food and VTEC Exposure

  • Foods Associated with VTEC illness
  • Food Preparation Practices Associated with VTEC Illness
  • Levels of VTEC in Outbreak-Associated Foods
  • Summary

VTEC Illness Monitoring In Canada

  • National Enteric Surveillance Program
  • PulseNet Canada
  • FoodNet Canada
  • Summary

Monitoring VTEC in Food

  • Federal VTEC Monitoring/Testing Programs
  • Results of Federal VTEC Monitoring/Testing Programs in Food
    • Raw Ground Beef, Pork and Veal and Precursor Materials
    • Ready-to-Eat Meats
    • Raw Milk cheeses
    • Fresh produce
    • Other Plant-Based Foods
  • Industry VTEC Monitoring/Testing
  • Summary

Analytical Methodology for VTEC

  • Food Testing Methods
  • Clinical Methods
  • Summary

Risk Mitigation

  • Meat
  • Milk and Dairy Products
  • Fresh Produce

Knowledge Gaps and Research Agenda



  • Graphs and data