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2013Öppen tillgång

Environmental sampling for evaluating verotoxogenic Escherichia coli O157:H7 status in dairy cattle herds

Widgren, Stefan; Eriksson, Erik; Aspán, Anna; Emanuelson, Ulf; Alenius, Stefan; Lindberg, Ann


Verotoxigenic Escherichia coli O157:H7 is a zoonotic bacterial pathogen capable of causing severe disease in human beings. Cattle are considered to be the main reservoir of the bacterium. The objective of the current study was to compare environmental sampling (consisting of dust, overshoe, and pooled pat samples) with pooled, individual fecal sampling for determining the cattle herd status under field conditions in naturally infected dairy herds. Thirty-one dairy cattle farms in Sweden, where verotoxigenic E. coli O157:H7 had been previously detected, were visited. On each farm, dust, overshoe, and pooled pat sampling were performed in each of 3 different age categories: calves, young stock, and adults. In addition, up to 140 individual fecal samples were collected and analyzed as pooled samples. In total, 3,763 individual fecal and 270 environmental samples were collected and analyzed for the presence of verotoxigenic E. coli O157:H7. Overshoe sampling, alone or in combination with dust and pooled pat sampling, correctly classified 20 of the 24 (0.83, 95% CI: 0.63-0.95) herds detected with at least 1 positive pool. On 1 farm, a dust sample was positive although all other samples were negative. In 6 of the 31 farms, the bacteria could not be detected in any of the individual fecal samples or in the environmental samples. The results establish that environmental sampling is a reliable method for identifying cattle herds with animals shedding verotoxigenic E. coli O157:H7.


Control; epidemiology; Escherichia coli; health; interventions; monitoring; surveillance

Publicerad i

Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
2013, Volym: 25, nummer: 2, sidor: 189-198