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Can J Vet Res. 2010 Jul;74(3):161-9.

Non-O157 verotoxigenic Escherichia coli and beef: a Canadian perspective.

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  • 1Health Canada, Bureau of Microbial Hazards, Health Products and Food Branch, Sir F.G. Banting Research Centre, Ottawa, Ontario.


Verotoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC) are important foodborne pathogens in Canada. VTEC of the O157:H7 serogroup have been the focus of regulatory action and surveillance in both Canada and the USA, due to their role in a number of high profile outbreaks. However, there is increasing evidence that other VTEC serogroups cause a substantial proportion of human illness. This issue is of particular importance to the cattle industry due to the role of beef as a vehicle for VTEC transmission. In this review, the evidence for non-O157 VTEC as cause of human illness in Canada and the potential for Canadian beef and cattle to serve as a source of VTEC are presented. In addition, the available strategies for the control of VTEC in cattle and beef are discussed.

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