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J Infect Dis. 1996 Nov;174(5):1021-7.

Vero cytotoxigenic Escherichia coli infection in dairy farm families.

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Laboratory Centre for Disease Control, Health Canada, Ottawa, Canada.


Fecal samples from 335 dairy farm residents and 1458 cattle on 80 farms were tested for Vero cytotoxin (VT)-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC). Residents were also tested for antibodies to VT1 and O157 lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Residents and cattle on farms with VTEC-positive persons or E. coli O157:H7-positive cattle were retested. Twenty-one persons (6.3%) on 16 farms (20.8%) and 46% of cattle on 100% of the farms had VTEC in fecal samples. Human VTEC isolates included E. coli O157:H7 and 8 other serotypes, 4 of which were present in cattle on the same farms. More persons had antibodies to VT1 (41%) than to O157 LPS (12.5%). Seropositivity to O157 LPS was associated with isolation of E. coli O157:H7 on the farm (P = .022). Human VTEC infection was negatively associated with age (P < .05) and was not associated with clinical illness. Many dairy farm residents experience subclinical immunizing VTEC infections at a young age, which frequently involve non-O157 VTEC found in cattle.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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