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Prevalence of Escherichia coli O157 in Cattle and Swine in Central Mexico

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Escherichia coli O157:H7 is a foodborne pathogenic bacterium that can reside undetected in the gastrointestinal tract of cattle because colonization by this bacterium is asymptomatic. Recent research has indicated that swine can carry and transmit this pathogen as well. The development of more advanced and sensitive detection techniques has improved the limit of detection and increased sensitivity for this important pathogen. This study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of E. coli O157 in cattle and swine in Mexico with the more sensitive detection technique of immunomagnetic bead separation. Samples (n = 60 per farm) were taken from four cattle and four swine farms (n = 240 cattle samples, n = 240 swine samples) located throughout central Mexico in October 2001. The prevalence of E. coli O157 was found to be only 1.25% on cattle farms and 2.1% on swine farms. The prevalence in cattle in this study is lower than that reported in the United States and could be related to the lower reported prevalence of E. coli O157 in humans in Mexico. However, further research is needed to verify prevalence throughout other regions of Mexico, as well as prevalence during other seasons of the year.

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: 1: Food and Feed Safety Research Unit, Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, College Station, Texas 77845, USA 2: Center of Excellence in Poultry Science, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701, USA 3: Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico, D. F. 04510 4: Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico, D. F. 04510

Publication date: October 1, 2004

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