Concentration and prevalence of Escherichia coli O157 in cattle faeces at slaughter

F. Omisakin, Marion MacRae, Iain D Ogden, Norval James Colin Strachan

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Abstract

The concentration and prevalence of Escherichia coli O157 in cattle feces at the time of slaughter was studied over a 9-week period from May to July 2002. Fecal samples (n = 589) were collected from the rectums of slaughtered cattle, and the animal-level prevalence rate was estimated to be 7.5% (95% confidence interval [CI], 5.4 to 9.6%) while the group prevalence was 40.4% (95% CI, 27.7 to 53.2%). Of the 44 infected animals detected, 9% were high shedders that contained E. coli O157 at concentrations of >10(4) CFU g(-1). These 9% represented >96% of the total E. coli O157 produced by all animals tested. All isolates possessed the vt(2) gene, 39 had the eaeA gene, and a further five had the vt(1) gene also. The presence of high-shedding animals at the abattoir increases the potential risk of meat contamination during the slaughtering process and stresses the need for correctly implemented hazard analysis and critical control point procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2444-2447
Number of pages3
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume69
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2003

Keywords

  • QUANTITATIVE RISK-ASSESSMENT
  • HEMOLYTIC-UREMIC-SYNDROME
  • INFECTION
  • OUTBREAK
  • HAMBURGERS
  • CARCASSES
  • SURVIVAL
  • PASTURE
  • SHEEP
  • FARMS

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