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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Shiga-Toxigenic Escherichia Coli O157 in Agricultural Fair Livestock, United States

Authors
item Keen, James
item Wittum, Thomas - OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
item Dunn, John - LOUISIANA STATE UNIV.
item Bono, James
item Durso, Lisa

Submitted to: Emerging Infectious Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 8, 2006
Publication Date: May 1, 2006
Citation: Keen, J.E., Wittum, T.E., Dunn, J.R., Bono, J.L., Durso, L.M. 2006. Shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli O157 in agricultural fair livestock, United States. Emerging Infectious Diseases 12(5):780-786.

Interpretive Summary: Agricultural fairs exhibiting livestock are increasingly implicated in recent human STEC O157 outbreaks. To estimate livestock STEC O157 prevalence at fairs in the United States, we collected 2,919 fecal samples at 29 county fairs in two states and at three state fairs in 2002. Fly pools were also collected. STEC O157 was isolated from livestock at 31 of 32 (96.9%) fairs including 11.4% of 1407 cattle, 1.2% of 1102 swine, 3.6% of 364 sheep and goats and 5.2% of 154 fly pools. Cattle, swine and flies at some fairs shared the same STEC O157 subtype, suggesting intra-fair transmission. In 2003, 689 ambient environmental samples (e.g., soil, bedding, standing water) were collected at 20 fairgrounds that were mostly livestock-free since the previous year's fair. Three fairgrounds (15.0%) and four beef barn samples yielded environmental STEC O157. These data suggest that STEC O157 is (1) common in and transmissible among livestock displayed at agricultural fairs and (2) persistent in the post-fair environment. In summary, zoonotic STEC O157 is common among ruminants, swine and pest flies at agricultural fairs and is present at levels similar to those observed in livestock in production settings.

Technical Abstract: Agricultural fairs exhibiting livestock are increasingly implicated in recent human STEC O157 outbreaks. To estimate livestock STEC O157 prevalence at United States fairs, we collected 2,919 fecal samples at 29 county fairs and at three state fairs in 2002. Fly pools were also collected. We isolated STEC O157 from livestock at 31 of 32 (96.9%) fairs, including 11.4% of 1407 cattle, 1.2% of 1102 swine, 3.6% of 364 sheep and goats and 5.2% of 154 fly pools. Cattle, swine and flies at some fairs shared the same STEC O157 subtype, suggesting intra-fair transmission. In 2003, 689 ambient environmental samples were collected at 20 fairgrounds that were mostly livestock-free since the previous year's fair. Three fairgrounds (15.0%) and four beef barn samples yielded environmental STEC O157. These data suggest that STEC O157 is (1) common in and transmissible among livestock displayed at agricultural fairs and (2) persistent in the post-fair environment.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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