The Prevalence of Verotoxins, Escherichia Coli O157:H7, and Salmonella in the Feces and Rumen of Cattle at Processing

Can Vet J. 1999 May;40(5):332-8.

Abstract

Fecal samples collected from cattle at processing during a 1-year period were tested for verotoxins (VT1, VT2), Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Salmonella. Verotoxins were detected in 42.6% (95% CI, 39.8% to 45.4%), E. coli O157:H7 in 7.5% (95% CI, 6.1% to 9.1%), and Salmonella in 0.08% (95% CI, 0.004% to 0.5%) of the fecal samples. In yearling cattle, the median within-lot prevalence (percentage of positive samples within a lot) was 40% (range, 0% to 100%) for verotoxins and 0% for E. coli O157:H7 (range, 0% to 100%) and Salmonella (range, 0% to 17%). One or more fecal samples were positive for verotoxins in 80.4% (95% CI, 72.8% to 86.4%) of the lots of yearling cattle, whereas E. coli O157:H7 were detected in 33.6% (95% CI, 26.0% to 42.0%) of the lots. In cull cows, the median within-lot prevalence was 50% (range, 0% to 100%) for verotoxins and 0% (range, 0% to 100%) for E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella (range, 0% to 0%). Verotoxins were detected in one or more fecal samples from 78.0% (95% CI, 70.4% to 84.2%) of the lots of cull cows, whereas E. coli O157:H7 were detected in only 6.0% (95% CI, 3.0% to 11.4%) of the lots of cull cows. The prevalence of verotoxins in fecal samples was lower in yearling cattle than in cull cows, whereas the prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 in fecal samples was higher in yearling cattle than in cull cows. The prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 in fecal samples was highest in the summer months. Rumen fill, body condition score, sex, type of cattle (dairy, beef), and distance travelled to the plant were not associated with the fecal prevalence of verotoxins or E. coli O157:H7. The prevalence of verotoxins in fecal samples of cull cows was associated with the source of the cattle. It was highest in cows from the auction market (52%) and farm/ranch (47%) and lowest in cows from the feedlot (31%). In rumen samples, the prevalence of verotoxins was 6.4% (95% CI, 4.2% to 9.4%), and it was 0.8% (95% CI, 0.2% to 2.3%) for E. coli O157:H7, and 0.3% (95% CI, 0.007% to 1.5%) for Salmonella.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abattoirs
  • Alberta / epidemiology
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Toxins / analysis*
  • Cattle
  • Cattle Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cattle Diseases / microbiology*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / epidemiology
  • Escherichia coli Infections / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli Infections / veterinary*
  • Escherichia coli O157 / isolation & purification*
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Rumen / chemistry
  • Rumen / microbiology
  • Salmonella / isolation & purification*
  • Salmonella Infections, Animal / epidemiology*
  • Seasons
  • Shiga Toxin 1
  • Shiga Toxin 2

Substances

  • Bacterial Toxins
  • Shiga Toxin 1
  • Shiga Toxin 2