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J Food Prot. 2003 Jun;66(6):924-30.

Pathogenicity of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli in neonatal calves and evaluation of fecal shedding by treatment with probiotic Escherichia coli.

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Center for Food Safety, University of Georgia, Griffin, Georgia 30223-1797, USA.


The pathogenicity and fecal shedding of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) O26:H11, O111:NM, and O157:H7 were compared in calves (< 1 week of age) with or without prior treatment with probiotic bacteria (competitive exclusion E. coli). Three groups of 12 to 14 calves were used for these treatments. Half of the calves in each group were perorally administered 10(10) CFU of probiotic bacteria per calf, and, 2 days thereafter, 10(8) CFU of a five-strain mixture with one of the three EHEC serotypes per calf were administered to each calf. None of the EHEC serotypes caused clinical disease,and neither gross nor microscopic lesions attributable to EHEC were detected in control or probiotic-treated calves at necropsy. In calves administered E. coli O157:H7, fecal shedding was greatly reduced (> 6 log10 CFU/g) by 8 days after administration, and there was no significant difference (P > 0.05) in fecal shedding of E. coli O157:H7 between probiotic-treated and untreated control groups at that time. In contrast, control calves perorally administered E. coil of serotypes O111:NM or O26:H11 continued to shed substantial populations (10(2.1) to 10(6) CFU/g of feces and 10(2.5) to 10(4.9) CFU/g of feces, respectively) throughout 7 days postadministration of EHEC. In both groups administered either E. coli O111:NM or O26:H11, significantly less (P < 0.05) EHEC was isolated from feces at 7 days postadministration of EHEC and at necropsy from theprobiotic-treated group than from the untreated control group. Overall, neonatal calves shed in the feces from 1 to 7 days following peroral administration of EHEC greater populations of E. coli O111:NM and O26:H111 than E. coli O157:H7. In addition, treatment of calves with probiotic E. coli reduced fecal shedding of E. coli O111:NM and O26:H11 in most calves.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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