The STEC Center is designed to facilitate research on Shiga-toxin producing E. coli and close relatives by providing a standard reference collection of well-characterized strains and central on-line accessible databases. The center does the following:
Serves as a repository for the deposition of STEC and other pathogenic E. coli from new outbreaks and environments as they are identified.
Distributes sets of reference strains for use by investigators.
Rapidly characterizes STEC using genetic markers of clonal identity and virulence genes in order to subtype and better differentiate strains.
Makes subtyping data available to the scientific community through on-line databases.
The STEC Center is based at Michigan State University (MSU) in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and has previously been supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the Food and Waterborne Diseases Integrated Research Network (FWD IRN), Microbiology Research Unit (MRU) (Research contract N01-AI30058) as well as Michigan State University.
The STEC Center was originally created by Thomas S. Whittam, while the isolate and literature databases were designed by Robert Mangold and re-organized by Weihong Qi, who also designed and implemented the EcMLST system.