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Epidemiol Infect. 1994 Oct;113(2):199-207.

The prevalence of Escherichia coli O157.H7 in dairy and beef cattle in Washington State.

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  • 1Field Disease Investigation Unit, Washington State University, Pullman 99164-6610.


Escherichia coli O157.H7 was found in 10 of 3570 (0.28%) faecal samples from dairy cattle in 5 of 60 herds (8.3%). Several tentative associations with manure handling and feeding management practices on dairy farms were identified. Faecal/urine slurry samples, bulk milk samples, and milk filters from dairy herds were negative for E. coli O157.H7. E. coli O157.H7 was also isolated from 10 of 1412 (0.71%) faecal samples from pastured beef cattle in 4 of 25 (16%) herds. The prevalence of E. coli O157.H7 excretion in feedlot beef cattle was 2 of 600 (0.33%). The identification of cattle management practices associated with colonization of cattle by E. coli O157.H7 suggests the possibility that human E. coli O157.H7 exposure may be reduced by cattle management procedures.

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