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Emerg Infect Dis. 2002 Mar;8(3):252-7.

Associations between indicators of livestock farming intensity and incidence of human Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli infection.

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  • 1Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1, Canada.


The impact of livestock farming on the incidence of human Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infection was assessed by using several livestock density indicators (LDI) that were generated in a systematic approach. A total of 80 LDI were considered suitable proxy measures for livestock density. Multivariate Poisson regression identified several LDI as having a significant spatial association with the incidence of human STEC infection. The strongest associations with human STEC infection were the ratio of beef cattle number to human population and the application of manure to the surface of agricultural land by a solid spreader and by a liquid spreader. This study demonstrates the value of using a systematic approach in identifying LDI and other spatial predictors of disease.

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