The invasive types of E. coli are called enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC), and enteroinvasive E. coli, (EIEC).
EHEC can produce complications leading to hemolyticuremic syndrome (HUS), a potentially fatal disorder marked by the destruction of red blood cells and kidney failure.
EHEC has become a growing problem in the United States because of outbreaks caused by contaminated food.
A particular type of EHEC known as O157:H7 has been identified since 1982 in undercooked hamburgers and unpasteurized milk and apple juice.
Bloody diarrhea, sometimes called dysentery, is produced by EHEC, EIEC, some types of Salmonella, some types of Shigella, and Yersinia.
Because of concern about EHEC outbreaks, however, most laboratories in the United States as of 204 screen for O157:H7 with a test that identifies its characteristic toxin.
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