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J Food Prot. 2004 Apr;67(4):666-71.

Escherichia coli O157:H7 excretion by commercial feedlot cattle fed either barley- or corn-based finishing diets.

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Lakeside Research, Lakeside Feeders, Ltd., P.O. Box 800, Brooks, Alberta, Canada T1R 1B7.


Effective preharvest control measures for Escherichia coli O157:H7 in cattle may significantly reduce the incidence of human disease caused by this organism. The prevalence and magnitude of fecal E. coli O157:H7 excretion was evaluated in 15 pens (300 to 500 cattle per pen) of commercial feedlot cattle fed a barley-based finishing ration and compared with that in 15 pens of cattle fed a corn-based ration. Average E. coli O157:H7 prevalence was 2.4% in barley-fed cattle and 1.3% in the corn-fed cattle (P < 0.05), and average magnitude of fecal E. coli O157:H7 excretion was 3.3 log CFU/g in the barley-fed cattle and 3.0 log CFU/g in the corn-fed cattle (P < 0.01). Corn-fed cattle had lower average fecal pH values (5.85) than did barley-fed cattle (6.51) (P < 0.01), and the average total generic fecal E. coli concentration in this group of animals (6.24 log CFU/g) was greater than that in the barley-fed cattle (5.55 log CFU/g) (P < 0.01). Specific feed ingredients may impact the frequency and magnitude of fecal excretion of E. coli O157:H7 by cattle.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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