Results of a Longitudinal Study of the Prevalence of Escherichia Coli O157:H7 on Cow-Calf Farms

Am J Vet Res. 2000 Nov;61(11):1375-9. doi: 10.2460/ajvr.2000.61.1375.

Abstract

Objective: To describe the frequency and distribution of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in the feces and environment of cow-calf herds housed on pasture.

Sample population: Fecal and water samples for 10 cow-calf farms in Kansas.

Procedure: Fecal and water samples were obtained monthly throughout a 1-year period (3,152 fecal samples from 2,058 cattle; 199 water samples). Escherichia coli O157:H7 in fecal and water samples was determined, using microbial culture.

Results: Escherichia coli O157:H7 was detected in 40 of 3,152 (1.3%) fecal samples, and 40 of 2,058 (1.9%) cattle had > or = 1 sample with E coli. Fecal shedding by specific cattle was transient; none of the cattle had E coli in more than 1 sample. Significant differences were not detected in overall prevalence among farms. However, significant differences were detected in prevalence among sample collection dates. Escherichia coli O157:H7 was detected in 3 of 199 (1.5%) water samples.

Conclusions and clinical relevance: Implementing control strategies for E coli O157:H7 at all levels of the cattle industry will decrease the risk of this organism entering the human food chain. Devising effective on-farm strategies to control E coli O157:H7 in cow-calf herds will require an understanding of the epidemiologic characteristics of this pathogen.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Husbandry / methods
  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cattle Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cattle Diseases / microbiology
  • Escherichia coli Infections / epidemiology
  • Escherichia coli Infections / microbiology
  • Escherichia coli Infections / veterinary*
  • Escherichia coli O157 / isolation & purification*
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Housing, Animal
  • Kansas / epidemiology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Seasons
  • Water Microbiology