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ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Meat Safety & Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #335425

Research Project: Assessment of Genotypic and Phenotypic Factors for Foodborne Pathogen Transmission and Development of Intervention Strategies

Location: Meat Safety & Quality Research

Title: Persistence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and total Escherichia coli in feces and feedlot surface manure from cattle fed diets with or without corn or sorghum wet distillers grains with solubles

Author
item Berry, Elaine
item Wells, James - Jim
item Varel, Vincent - Former Ars Employee
item Hales, Kristin
item Kalchayanand, Norasak - Nor

Submitted to: Journal of Food Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/13/2017
Publication Date: 8/1/2017
Citation: Berry, E.D., Wells, J.E., Varel, V.H., Hales, K.E., Kalchayanand, N. 2017. Persistence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and total Escherichia coli in feces and feedlot surface manure from cattle fed diets with or without corn or sorghum wet distillers grains with solubles. Journal of Food Protection. 80(8):1317-1327. https://doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-17-018.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-17-018

Interpretive Summary: Wet distillers grains with solubles (WDGS) are a by-product of ethanol production from grain. Previous research showed that feeding WDGS to cattle can increase the load of E. coli O157:H7 in feces and on hides, but the reasons for this are not fully understood. The objective of these experiments was to determine the persistence of E. coli O157:H7 in feces and on feedlot pen surfaces of cattle fed WDGS. The results of experiments showed that E. coli O157:H7 generally persisted longer in feces from cattle fed WDGS compared to no WDGS. In addition, processing of the corn grain (dry rolled, high moisture, or steam flaked corn) used in the WDGS diets affected bacterial persistence in feces. Greater survival of E. coli O157:H7 in feces was associated with diets containing ingredients that had higher starch digestibility and/or that resulted in reduced starch excretion in feces. Greater persistence of E. coli O157:H7 on the feedlot pen surfaces of animals fed corn WDGS was not demonstrated, although these pens had higher percentages of the pathogen in feedlot surface manure after cattle were removed. Both or either of greater persistence and higher levels of E. coli O157:H7 in the environment of cattle fed WDGS may play a part in the higher prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 by increasing transmission risk. Understanding how dietary distillers grains increases the prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 in cattle may suggest potential approaches to reduce this pathogen.

Technical Abstract: Feeding corn wet distillers grains with solubles (WDGS) to cattle can increase the load of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in feces and on hides, but the mechanisms are not fully understood. The objective of these experiments was to examine a role for the persistence of E. coli O157:H7 in the feces and feedlot pen surfaces of cattle fed WDGS. In the first study, feces from steers fed 0, 20, 40, or 60% corn WDGS were inoculated with E. coli O157:H7. The E. coli O157:H7 numbers in feces from cattle fed 0% corn WDGS rapidly decreased (P < 0.05), from 6.28 to 2.48 log CFU/g of feces by day 14. In contrast, the E. coli O157:H7 numbers in feces from cattle fed 20, 40, and 60% corn WDGS were 4.21, 5.59, and 6.13 log CFU/g of feces, respectively, on day 14. A second study evaluated the survival of E. coli O157:H7 in feces from cattle fed 0 and 40% corn WDGS. Feces were collected before and 28 days after the dietary corn was switched from high-moisture corn to dry-rolled corn. Within dietary corn source, the pathogen persisted at higher concentrations (P < 0.05) in 40% corn WDGS feces at day 7 than in 0% WDGS. For 40% corn WDGS feces, E. coli O157:H7 persisted at higher concentrations (P < 0.05) at day 7 in feces from cattle fed highmoisture corn (5.36 log CFU/g) than from those fed dry-rolled corn (4.27 log CFU/g). The percentage of WDGS had no effect on the E. coli O157:H7 counts in feces from cattle fed steam-flaked corn-based diets containing 0, 15, and 30% sorghum WDGS. Greater persistence of E. coli O157:H7 on the pen surfaces of animals fed corn WDGS was not demonstrated, although these pens had a higher prevalence of the pathogen in the feedlot surface manure after the cattle were removed. Both or either the greater persistence and higher numbers of E. coli O157:H7 in the environment of cattle fed WDGS may play a part in the increased prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 in cattle by increasing the transmission risk.