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Synchronization of E. coli O157 shedding in a grass-fed beef herd: a longitudinal study

  • G. A. C. LAMMERS (a1) (a2), C. S. McCONNEL (a3), D. JORDAN (a4), M. S. AYTON (a1), S. MORRIS (a4), E. I. PATTERSON (a5), M. P. WARD (a6) and J. HELLER (a1) (a2)...

Summary

This study aims to describe in detail the temporal dynamics of E. coli O157 shedding and risk factors for shedding in a grass-fed beef herd. During a 9-month period, 23 beef cows were sampled twice a week (58 sampling points) and E. coli O157 was enumerated from faecal samples. Isolates were screened by PCR for presence of rfbE, stx 1 and stx 2 . The prevalence per sampling day ranged from 0% to 57%. This study demonstrates that many members of the herd were concurrently shedding E. coli O157. Occurrence of rainfall (P < 0·01), feeding silage (P < 0·01) and lactating (P < 0·01) were found to be predictors of shedding. Moving cattle to a new paddock had a negative effect on shedding. This approach, based on short-interval sampling, confirms the known variability of shedding within a herd and highlights that high shedding events are rare.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

* Author for correspondence: Miss G. A. C. Lammers, School of Animal and Veterinary Science, Charles Sturt University, Pine Gully Road, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650, Australia (Email: glammers@csu.edu.au)

References

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