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Health Agencies Update
March 18, 1998

E coli O157 Vaccine

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JAMA. 1998;279(11):818. doi:10.1001/jama.279.11.818

A genetically engineered vaccine against Escherichiacoli O157 tested in a small group of adult volunteers appears safe and stimulates the production of antibodies against the potentially fatal pathogen, researchers reported in the February issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

A vaccine against E coli O157 would be a valuable weapon against the pathogen, because the infection doesn't respond well to antibiotics. Moreover, some researchers believe that antibiotics may increase the incidence of a sometimes fatal complication of the infection, hemolytic uremic syndrome, by promoting the release of a bacterial toxin into the bloodstream.