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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Animal Nutrition

Transit effects on fecal Escherichia coli O157 prevalence and coliform concentrations in feedlot cattle


This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 92 No. 2, p. 676-682
    Received: May 16, 2013
    Accepted: Nov 20, 2013
    Published: November 24, 2014

    1 Corresponding author(s):

  1. C. C. Aperce*,
  2. C. A. Alvarado*,
  3. K. A. Miller*,
  4. C. L. Van Bibber-Krueger* and
  5. J. S. Drouillard 1
  1. Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, Kansas State University, Manhattan 66506-1600


Our objectives were to evaluate the effects of transportation and lairage on fecal shedding of Escherichia coli O157 (E. coli O157), total Escherichia coli, and total coliforms in feedlot cattle, and the relationships between E. coli O157 prevalence and total E. coli population. The study was a randomized complete block design with a split-plot including 2 treatments: a nontransported group, which remained in its pen at all times, and a transported group, which was transported for 1 h in a trailer and subsequently unloaded in a different pen. The experiment was repeated on 3 different days (blocking factor) with 20 steers/d (10 steers/treatment, 60 total). Fecal samples were taken pretransport (h 0) and after 4 and 28 h, lairage from freshly voided fecal pats were taken from each animal. One gram of feces was transferred to a PBS tube, serially diluted, and plated onto Petrifilm for enumeration of total coliforms. Another sample (1 g) was added to gram-negative broth containing cefixime, cefsulodin, and vancomycin, and subjected to immunomagnetic separation. Resulting beads were plated onto MacConkey agar with sorbitol, cefixime, and tellurite. Nonsorbitol fermenting colonies were selected and tested for indole production and O157 antigen agglutination. Results were confirmed using an API 20E kit. Prevalence of E. coli O157 was transient across blocks. E. coli O157 prevalence revealed no treatment × sampling time interaction (P = 0.179) or sampling time effect (P = 0.937), but a tendency for a treatment effect (P = 0.092). Numbers of E. coli and other coliforms did not change across blocks. No effect of treatment (P > 0.7) was observed on total E. coli concentrations or total coliforms. However, tendencies for treatment × sampling time interactions were observed on both populations (P < 0.08), as well as a tendency for a sampling time effect on total E. coli (P = 0.087) and an effect on total coliforms (P = 0.004). Prevalence of E. coli O157 was not correlated with the concentration of total E. coli (P = 0.954). Results suggest that shedding of E. coli O157 and coliforms can vary within a period of 29 h. Greater statistical power and pathogen quantification, as well as hide sampling and stress-related measurements, are needed to be able to conclude on the effects of transport stress on E. coli O157 prevalence and the changes undergone in pathogen shedding patterns after transportation.

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