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Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2013 Aug;10(8):678-83. doi: 10.1089/fpd.2012.1374. Epub 2013 May 21.

Assessment of heterogeneity of efficacy of a three-dose regimen of a type III secreted protein vaccine for reducing STEC O157 in feces of feedlot cattle.

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School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science, University of Nebraska-Lincoln , Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.


Preharvest control of Escherichia coli O157:H7 (STEC O157) may prevent human illness by reducing the presence of STEC O157 throughout the beef production chain. Immunization of cattle with a type III secreted protein vaccine inhibits colonization of cattle with STEC O157 and reduces the probability of fecal shedding and hide contamination. Our objectives were to perform a meta-analysis to estimate efficacy of a three-dose regimen of TTSP vaccine at reducing the presence of STEC O157 in the feces of feedlot cattle and to test factors that might modify vaccine efficacy. Pen-level data (n=184 pens, 1462 cattle) from four randomized controlled vaccine trials conducted from 2002 to 2008 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln were analyzed. Factors explaining a culture-positive fecal sample were tested in generalized estimating equations logistic regression and log-binomial models. An autoregressive correlation structure was defined to account for clustering of repeated test-periods within block. Clustering or potential confounding by study was accounted for by treating study as a fixed effect. STEC O157 was detected from 661 of 5451 postvaccination fecal samples. The probability to detect STEC O157 postvaccination was 8.4% and 15.8% in vaccinated and unvaccinated cattle, respectively. Interactions between vaccination and (1) study; (2) prevalence of control pens within each time-place cluster; and (3) days from vaccination were not significant or fit poorly with observed data. Adjusting for study, cattle in pens receiving three doses of vaccine were less likely to shed STEC O157 (odds ratio=0.46, p<0.0001). Model-adjusted vaccine efficacy was 48% (95% confidence interval: 0.37-0.57). We concluded that a three-dose regimen type III secreted protein vaccine was efficacious at reducing the probability of detecting STEC O157 in the feces of cattle and that vaccine efficacy was not modified by study or level of prevalence observed in control pens.

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