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J Anim Sci. 2013 Mar;91(3):1362-70. doi: 10.2527/jas.2012-5618. Epub 2013 Jan 24.

Effects of feeding dried distillers grains with supplemental starch on fecal shedding of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in experimentally inoculated steers.

Author information

1
Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA.

Abstract

Distillers grains (DG), a co-product of ethanol production used as protein and energy supplements in cattle diets, have been shown to increase fecal shedding of Escherichia coli O157:H7, a major foodborne pathogen. The reason for the positive association is not known. Because DG often replaces grain in the diet, decreased starch content and flow to the hindgut may create a favorable environment for E. coli O157:H7. Our objective was to determine whether the addition of starch to a corn DG-supplemented diet negates the effects of DG on fecal shedding of E. coli O157:H7. We conducted a study with 21 steers fed 1 of 3 diets: a corn grain-based basal diet (CON), basal diet supplemented with 25% corn dried DG (DDG), and basal diet supplemented with 25% DDG with corn starch (DDG+S) added at a level intended to increase starch concentration to that of the CON diet. Steers, housed individually in a biosafety level 2 animal facility, were randomly allocated to treatment diets and orally inoculated with a 5-strain mixture (10(9) cfu per steer) of nalidixic acid-resistant (Nal(R)) E. coli O157:H7. Fecal samples were collected for 5 wk, and on d 35, steers were euthanized and necropsied to collect gut content samples. Fecal or gut samples were cultured to determine prevalence and concentrations of Nal(R) E. coli O157:H7. Dietary starch concentrations, based on feed analysis, were 46.3% in the CON compared with 43.3 and 41.3% in the DDG and DDG+S diets, respectively. Steers fed DDG or DDG+S diets shed Nal(R) E. coli O157:H7 more often (P = 0.0027 and 0.0003, respectively) and at greater concentrations (1.9 or 2.0 cfu/g; P = 0.0025 and 0.0006) than those fed CON diet (1.4 cfu/g), but no difference was observed between DDG and DDG+S diets. Cumulative prevalence and concentrations of Nal(R) E. coli O157:H7 were greater in gut samples collected at necropsy in steers fed DDG and DDG+S diets compared with those fed CON diet, but no difference was observed between DDG and DDG+S diets. The lack of effect of starch addition to the DDG diet on fecal shedding of E. coli O157:H7 may be because either the decreased starch content in the DG-supplemented diet is not a factor in the increased shedding of E. coli O157:H7 or inclusion of pure starch in the diet may not have achieved our intended goal to have starch flow into the hindgut similar to that of corn grain. The study confirms our previous finding of the positive association between feeding DG and fecal shedding of E. coli O157:H7.

PMID:
23348685
DOI:
10.2527/jas.2012-5618
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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