Shedding patterns of verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli strains in a cohort of calves and their dams on a Scottish beef farm

D J Shaw, C Jenkins, M C Pearce, T Cheasty, G J Gunn, G Dougan, H R Smith, M E J Woolhouse, G Frankel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Rectal fecal samples were taken once a week from 49 calves on the same farm. In addition, the dams of the calves were sampled at the time of calf birth and at the end of the study. Strains of verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) were isolated from these samples by using PCR and DNA probe hybridization tests and were characterized with respect to serotype, verocytotoxin gene (vtx) type, and the presence of the intimin (eae) and hemolysin (ehxA) genes. A total of 170 VTEC strains were isolated during 21 weeks from 130 (20%) of 664 samples from calves and from 40 (47%) of 86 samples from their dams. The characteristics of the calf strains differed from those strains isolated from the dams with respect to verocytotoxin 2 and the presence of the eae gene. In addition, no calf shed the same VTEC serogroup (excluding O?) as its dam at birth or at the end of the study. The most frequently detected serogroups in calves were serogroup O26 and provisional serogroup E40874 (VTEC O26 was found in 25 calves), whereas in dams serogroup O91 and provisional serogroup E54071 were the most common serogroups. VTEC O26 shedding appeared to be associated with very young calves and declined as the calves aged, whereas VTEC O2 shedding was associated with housing of the animals. VTEC O26 strains from calves were characterized by the presence of the vtx1, eae, and ehxA genes, whereas vtx2 was associated with VTEC O2 and provisional serogroup E40874. The high prevalence of VTEC O26 and of VTEC strains harboring the eae gene in this calf cohort is notable because of the association of the O26 serogroup and the presence of the eae gene with human disease. No association between calf diarrhea and any of the VTEC serogroups was identified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7456-65
Number of pages10
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume70
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Shedding patterns of verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli strains in a cohort of calves and their dams on a Scottish beef farm'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this