Factors Associated with the Presence of Escherichia coli O157 in Feces of Feedlot Cattle

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Fecal samples were collected from pens of cattle in a total of 100 feedlots in 13 states. Fecal samples were cultured for Escherichia coli O157. E. coli O157 isolates were probed for the genetic coding for verotoxin production. At the time of sample collection, data were collected on the type of cattle present in the pen, as well as the length of time these cattle were in the feedlot, ingredients for the current ration, and cattle health history since arriving in the feedlot. Factors associated with increased likelihood of a pen being positive (one or more samples probe-positive for E. coli O157) included feeding of barley (odds ratio [OR] = 2.75) and cattle being on feed less than 20 days (OR = 3.39). Factors associated with a reduced likelihood of a pen being positive included feeding soy meal (OR = 0.50), a cattle entry weight of at least 700 Ib (ca. 317.5 kg) (OR = 0.54), and at least 85% of the cattle in the pen being beef-type heifers (OR = .33).


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: USDA, APHIS, Veterinary Services, Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health, 555 S. Howes, Ft. Collins, Colorado 80521, USA 2: USDA, APHIS, Veterinary Services, National Veterinary Services Laboratories, Ames, Iowa 50010, USA; USDA:APHIS:VS, Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Greenport, NY 11944, USA 3: Field Disease Investigation Unit, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164-6610, USA

Publication date: May 1, 1997

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