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J Vet Diagn Invest. 2004 Jan;16(1):79-83.

Escherichia coli O157:H7 in the gallbladders of experimentally infected calves.

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Pre-Harvest Food Safety Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center, US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, PO Box 70, Ames, IA 50010, USA.


Fifteen weaned calves (age 89-141 days) were treated with dexamethasone (0.25 mg/kg, IV) for 3 days before, the day of, and the day after inoculation with 10 colony-forming units of either Escherichia coli O157:H7 (strain 86-24, which produces Shiga toxin 2 and intimin; n = 13) or nonpathogenic E. coli (strain 123, which does not produce Shiga toxin or intimin; n = 2). All calves were necropsied 4 days after inoculation. Histologic lesions of attaching and effacing bacteria were observed in the large intestine (12/13) and in the gallbladder mucosa (5/13) of calves inoculated with E. coli 86-24. Cholecystitis was present in 12 of 13 calves that received E. coli 86-24. Inoculum bacteria were recovered from the distal colons or feces (13/13) and gallbladders (3/4) of calves inoculated with 86-24.

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