Antibiotic use may have driven the development of Europe’s deadly E. coli
Women, beansprouts, cucumbers, bacteria, cows: the cast of the current European Escherichia coli outbreak is already a crowd. Enter the phage. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria, and they are star players in the chain of events that led to this outbreak.
Bacterial infections often originate from contaminated food, but it is now about six weeks since the start of this outbreak and the trail is going cold. It’s hard to be sure of the culprit — but this simply serves to highlight the importance of understanding how infectious bacteria get into the food chain in the first place.