Submitted to: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 8, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Cattle are a reservoir of Escherichia coli O157:H7, a food-borne pathogen. Most of the reported outbreaks of E. coli O157:H7 disease are linked to the consumption of undercooked bovine products, which at some point have been contaminated with feces. We found that cattle are more susceptible to infection by E. coli when food is withheld, which may occur when animals are marketed. Some of the cattle wich were infected with E. coli O157:H7 shed greatly increased numbers of the organism in their feces when food was withheld. This information will help producers develop management practices to reduce e. coli O157:H7 in cattle.
Technical Abstract: Two groups of calves were subjected to a dietary stress by withholding food beginning 1 or 14 days after inoculation with 10**10 CFU Escherichia coli O157:H7. Following treatment, neither group had a significant increase in fecal shedding of E. coli O157:H7. A third group of calves had food withheld for 48 h prior to inoculation with 10**7 CFU of E. coli O157:H7. These calves were more susceptible to infection and shed significantly more E. coli O157:H7 than calves maintained on a normal diet.