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Scientists scrutinize role of ‘supershedder’ cattle in E. coli O157:H7 contamination

Modified: Thursday, May 22nd, 2014


Photo/ Terry Arthur - About 2 percent of cattle are supershedders of E. coli O157:H7 bacteria. Just one supershedder in a pen can spread the bacteria to the hides of most of the other animals in the pen.


CLAY CENTER – On average, about 2 percent of the cattle grazing in a pasture, or eating high-energy rations in a feedlot pen, may be “supershedders” who shed high levels of pathogenic organisms such as Escherichia coli O157:H7 in their manure, according to research led by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientist Terrance M. Arthur.

Supershedding is of concern because it could increase the amount of E. coli O157:H7 that makes its way from pasture or feedlot pen into packinghouses where steaks, roasts, ground round or other beef products are prepared.



For the complete article see the 05-23-2014 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 05-23-2014 paper.









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