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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1997 Oct;63(10):3878-86.

Evaluation of dietary influences on Escherichia coli O157:H7 shedding by sheep.

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1
Department of Microbiology, Molecular Biology, and Biochemistry, University of Idaho, Moscow 83844, USA.

Abstract

The effect of diet, an abrupt diet change, and fasting on the shedding of Escherichia coli O157:H7 was investigated with experimentally inoculated sheep as a ruminant model. Sheep were fed a grass hay diet (G), which was low in protein and digestible energy and high in fiber, or a mixture of corn and pelleted alfalfa (C), which was high in protein and digestible energy and low in fiber. After a single oral inoculation of E. coli O157:H7, all the animals shed fecal E. coli O157:H7. However, sheep that were fed G shed the bacterium almost twice as long as, and in larger numbers than, did sheep that were fed C. The number of culture-positive animals increased after the diet was abruptly changed from C to G and decreased with the opposite change (G to C). A 24-h fast did not influence E. coli O157:H7 shedding. Horizontal transmission of infection between animals occurred. Recent shedding of E. coli O157:H7 did not affect recolonization with E. coli O157:H7. The findings presented in this study indicate that preharvest control of diet may reduce the risk of E. coli O157:H7-positive animals entering the food chain.

PMID:
9327551
PMCID:
PMC168697
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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