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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Callaway, Todd
item Edrington, Thomas
item Brabban, Andrew
item Kutter, Betty
item Anderson, Robin
item Nisbet, David - Dave

Submitted to: International Symposium and Workshop on Shiga Toxin ... Escherichia coli
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/30/2006
Publication Date: 10/29/2006
Citation: Callaway, T.R., Edrington, T.S., Brabban, A.D., Kutter, B.M., Anderson, R.C., Nisbet, D.J. 2006. Use of bacteriophage to reduce E. coli O157:H7 in the intestinal tract and on the hides of cattle [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on Shiga Toxin (Verocytotoxin)-Producing Escherichia coli Infections, October 29-November 1, 2006, Melbourne, Australia. p. 53.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: E. coli O157:H7 is a food-borne pathogen that is widely distributed in cattle, but does not cause illness in cattle. Many human foodborne illnesses can be traced to E. coli O157:H7 on dirty hides entering the processing plant. Fecal material found on the hides can harbor EHEC in fresh or dried feces, therefore, targeting the pathogens on the hide requires a 2-pronged approach, 1) cleaning the most recent feces deposited on the hide before it is deposited, and 2) killing pathogens already deposited on the hide. A method to accomplish both goals is through the use of bacteriophage, which are viruses that prey on bacteria and are specific to the species or even strain level. Bacteriophage that target the food borne pathogen E. coli O157:H7 have been previously isolated from several environments, and we have isolated several bacteriophage active against E. coli O157:H7 from feces of commercial feedlot cattle. In the present study, we combined several phage isolates (n = 16) to form a cocktail of phage to prevent the development of resistance. When this cocktail was administered to sheep experimentally infected with E. coli O157:H7, intestinal populations of E. coli O157:H7 were reduced in the cecum (P < 0.05) and the rectum (P < 0.10). When this bacteriophage cocktail was sprayed directly on cattle hides (n = 6) that were artificially-inoculated with E. coli O157:H7 (10*3 CFU/sq cm), populations of E. coli O157:H7 were decreased (P < 0.05). Our results indicate that properly selected phages can be used to reduce E. coli O157:H7 in cattle feces and on cattle hides prior to slaughter. This suggests that phage could be an important part of a coherent, integrated preharvest pathogen reduction program.

Last Modified: 10/15/2017
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