E. coli O157 in rural communities

Molecule bacteria lab cattle and landscape


Welcome to the RELU E. coli O157 Project!

The RELU E. coli O157 project team

Reducing Escherichia coli O157 risk in rural communities

This RELU project brings together geography, sociology, economics, medicine, microbiology, ecology, agriculture and food science to research reducing the risk of human Escherichia coli O157 infection in UK rural communities.

Current outbreaks of diseases caused by food-borne pathogens such as E. coli O157 flag a serious lack of knowledge and understanding about factors which determine the numbers and spread of these human food-borne pathogens in rural and agricultural environments. The pathogens mainly enter the food chain from faecal contamination of meat products, but there are an increasing number of cases of the disease and outbreaks linked to direct contact with contaminated water, soil and livestock.

E. coli O157 has been identified by the Food Standards Agency as posing colony of E. coli O157a major risk to human health, particularly to people living in rural areas and to visitors and tourists to the countryside. Through six integrated work packages and the use of two case study areas (NE Scotland and N Wales), the research will provide information for evidence based policies to minimise risks to rural communities from E. coli O157.