Duration of detection of fecal excretion of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in cattle

J Infect Dis. 1997 Mar;175(3):726-9. doi: 10.1093/infdis/175.3.726.


To better define the bovine reservoir of Escherichia coli O157:H7, cattle were tested monthly by bacteriologic culture for fecal excretion of E. coli. E. coli O157:H7 was isolated from feces of 56 cattle sampled an average of 6.98 times (2-12 samples). By broth enrichment culture, immunomagnetic separation, or both, 35 cattle had 1 positive sample, 12 had 2, 7 had 3, and 1 each had 4 and 5. Five cattle with > or = 2 positive samples were in a herd in which 5 pulsed-field gel electrophoretic (PFGE) types were simultaneously present; in 3 of these cattle, different PFGE types were detected in different samples. The duration of detected excretion E. coli O157:H7 by individual cattle in this study was <1 month in 35 (63%) of 56 cattle. Both serial and concurrent excretion of different E. coli O157:H7 strains by individual cattle was observed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cattle Diseases / microbiology*
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field
  • Escherichia coli Infections / microbiology*
  • Escherichia coli O157 / pathogenicity*
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Time Factors


  • DNA, Bacterial