E. coli vaccine effective but seldom used in feedlot cattle

When it comes to foodborne illnesses, few rival E. coli for the damaging effect it can have on humans.

beef.cattleResearch shows that STEC-related bacteria cause more than 175,000 human illnesses per year with an annual direct economic cost ranging from $489 million to $993 million, said Kansas State University agricultural economist, Glynn Tonsor.

Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, often referred to as STEC O157 or simply E. coli, is naturally occurring in cattle and though it does no harm to the cattle, can make humans sick. In some cases it is lethal. To reduce the chances that beef leaving their plants is contaminated with the pathogen, beef processors have implemented hazard control steps and also test their beef products for the presence of E. coli before they leave the plant.

Another potential way to reduce prevalence of E. coli is to vaccinate cattle in feedlots long before they are shipped to processing plants.

“Immunization through vaccination has been a commercially available pre-harvest intervention to reduce E. coli shedding in cattle for about five years,” said Tonsor, who is a livestock marketing specialist with K-State Research and Extension. “Despite demonstrated substantial improvement in human health the vaccine offers, it has not been widely adopted.”

In a recent study he, along with K-State colleague Ted Schroeder, also an agricultural economist, took a closer look at the potential economic impacts of incorporating animal vaccination into E. coli pre-harvest control practices.

A fact sheet is available at Market Impacts of E.coli Vaccination in U.S. Feedlots. Study results have been published in the Agricultural and Food Economics Journal.

The study made clear two primary reasons most feedlot managers don’t use E. coli vaccines. Because cattle themselves are not adversely affected by the pathogen, the presence of E. coli does not hinder cattle feeding efficiency so there are no production costs for feedlots directly associated with the prevalence of E. coli. In other words, it costs no more to feed cattle that have E. coli than it does to feed cattle that don’t.  

Further, there is no well-established market that compensates producers for vaccinating for the pathogen. So generally, the price paid for cattle coming out of feedlots is the same whether the vaccine was used or not. Because administering the vaccine adds costs without direct economic incentives, most cattle feeders choose not to, Tonsor said.

Key findings from the K-State study include:

  • Given the current market setting, producer adoption of E. coli vaccination protocols is likely to remain limited. If such vaccinations were implemented, it would cost U.S. feedlots $1.0 billion to $1.8 billion in economic welfare loss over 10 years if demand didn’t increase with premiums for vaccinated cattle.    
  • Retail or export beef demand increases could spur adoption by feedlot producers. Considering different scenarios, the study found that retail beef demand increases of 1.7 percent to 3.0 percent or export beef demand increases of 18.1 percent to 32.6 percent would be necessary to generate sufficiently higher fed cattle prices to offset the costs associated with vaccination.
  • Production cost decreases to either beef retailers or wholesalers (packers) could also provide an incentive for feedlot producers to vaccinate. The study indicated that cost declines of 2.2 percent to 3.9 percent for retailers or alternatively production cost declines of 1.2 percent to 2.2 percent for packers would be necessary to generate sufficiently higher fed cattle prices to cover feedlot adoption costs, making producers economically neutral to adoption.

“A key point of this research is that limited use of E. coli vaccinations in U.S. feedlots is consistent with the lack of current economic signals for producers to expand adoption,” Schroeder said. “Unless there is a substantial change in market signals presented to feedlot operators, limited use of E. coli vaccinations can be expected in the future.”

Sweden screens for STECs in kids

Background: Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STECs) are the most common cause of acute renal failure in children. The present study evaluated a 10-year STEC polymerase chain reaction screening regimen in children.

dirty.jobs.daycare.e.coliMethods: All routine stool culture specimens from patients below 10 years of age (n = 10 342) from May 2003 through April 2013 in the County of Jönköping, Sweden, were included. Patients were divided in 1 group where analyses of STEC were requested by the clinician (n = 2366) and 1 screening group (n = 7976). Patients who were positive for STEC were tested weekly until they were negative. Clinical data were collected through a questionnaire and by reviewing medical records.

Results: In specimens from 191 patients, stx was found (162 index cases). The prevalence was 1.8% in the requested group and 1.5% in the screening group (P = .5). Diarrhea was the most frequent symptom reported in 156 cases and of these 29 (19%) had hemorrhagic colitis (HC) and 7 children developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). No difference regarding severity of symptoms between the groups was found. Stx2 predominated in cases with HC (P < .0001) and HUS (P = .04). Median stx shedding duration was 20 days (1–256 days), and no difference in duration was seen between stx types (P = .106–1.00) and presence of eaeA (P = .72).

Conclusions: Most STEC cases were found in the screening group with comparable prevalence and disease severity as in patients where analysis was requested. Furthermore, non-O157 serotypes caused severe disease when carrying stx2, and prolonged shedding of STEC may be a risk for transmission.

 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in diarrheal stool of Swedish children: Evaluation of polymerase chain reaction screening and duration of shiga toxin shedding

Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society

Andreas Matussek, Ing-Marie Einemo, Anna Jogenfors, Sven Löfdahl3 and Sture Löfgren

http://m.jpids.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/02/17/jpids.piv003.full

Food safety cleanup

In honor of fall cleaning of smelly hockey gear – and what use is scaffolding if not to dry out hockey equipment – I offer this cleanup of smelly food safety news.

hockey.equip.drying.feb.15Lots of Asian countries, including China have banned Canadian beef after bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) showed up on the same farm as a case diagnosed in 2010. How effective is enforcement of that feed ban?

Men wash their hands less than women.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is going to speed up implementation of labeling of needle or mechanically tenderized beef to 2016. If Canada can do it in 2014, so can the U.S.

New Zealand is going to require child care centers to have a food safety plan when they serve meals to little kids, and get inspected once a year. Australia should do the same.

50 school cafeterias out of the 350 in Rhode Island racked up the most food safety violations. Who knew Rhode Island had 350 schools?

Fancy food ain’t safe food, Scotland edition, the Waldorf Astoria Caledonian in Edinburgh has failed basic hygiene inspections by food safety authorities. No details of why the hotels had failed food inspections.

The manager of a former railway station in Ireland that was converted to a restaurant told an food safety type it was really busy, and that’s why they violated 44 food hygiene and safety regulations. Guilty.

doug.coaching.feb.15

Salmonella and E. coli in sprouts in Mexico, oh my

Data on the presence of diarrheagenic Escherichia coli pathotypes (DEPs) in alfalfa sprouts and correlations between the presence of coliform bacteria (CB), fecal coliforms (FC), E. coli, DEPs, and Salmonella in alfalfa sprouts are not available. The presence of and correlations between CB, FC, E. coli, DEPs, and Salmonella in alfalfa sprouts were determined.

santa.barf.sprout.raw.milkOne hundred sprout samples were collected from retail markets in Pachuca, Hidalgo State, Mexico. The presence of indicator bacteria and Salmonella was determined using conventional culture procedures. DEPs were identified using two multiplex PCR procedures. One hundred percent of samples were positive for CB, 90% for FC, 84% for E. coli, 10% for DEPs, and 4% for Salmonella. The populations of CB ranged from 6.2 up to 8.6 log CFU/g. The FC and E. coli concentrations were between , 3 and 1,100 most probable number (MPN)/g. The DEPs identified included enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC; 2%), enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC; 3%), and Shiga toxin–producing E. coli (STEC; 5%). No E. coli O157:H7 strains were detected in any STEC-positive samples. In samples positive for DEPs, the concentrations ranged from 210 to 240 MPN/g for ETEC, 28 to 1,100 MPN/g for EPEC, and 3.6 to 460 MPN/g for STEC. The Salmonella isolates identified included Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium in three samples and Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis in one. STEC and Salmonella Typhimurium were identified together in one sample. Positive correlations were observed between FC and E. coli, between FC and DEPs, and between E. coli and DEPs. Negative correlations occurred between CB and DEPs and between CB and Salmonella. Neither FC nor E. coli correlated with Salmonella in the sprout samples.

To our knowledge, this is the first report of ETEC, EPEC, and STEC isolated from alfalfa sprouts and the first report of correlations between different indicator groups versus DEPs and Salmonella.

 

Presence and correlation of some enteric indicator bacteria, diarrheagenic Escherichia coli pathotypes, and Salmonella serotypes in alfalfa sprouts from local retail markets in Pachuca, Mexico

01.mar.15

Journal of Food Protection®, Number 3, March 2015, pp. 484-627, pp. 609-614(6)

Rangel-Vargas, Esmeralda; Gómez-Aldapa, Carlos A.; Torres-Vitela, M. del Refugio; Villarruel-López, Angélica; Gordillo-Martínez, Alberto J.; Castro-Rosas, Javier

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/iafp/jfp/2015/00000078/00000003/art00020

Would you like E. coli with that Saeng-go-gi (it’s raw beef)

This study investigated the bacterial contamination levels in ready-to-eat fresh raw beef, Saeng-go-gi in Korean, sold in restaurants.

Saeng-go-giA total of 462 samples were analyzed by performing an aerobic bacterial plate count, a coliform count, and an Escherichia coli O157:H7 count. Aerobic bacterial plate counts of fresh raw beef obtained from Seoul, Cheonan, Daegu, Gunsan, and Gwangju retail store restaurants were 6.46, 6.89, 6.39, 6.58, and 6.67 log CFU/g, respectively, and coliforms were 4.05, 4.97, 4.76, 3.62, and 3.32 log CFU/g, respectively.

Among the 462 assessed samples, suspected E. coli O157:H7 colonies were found in 32, 24, 20, 22, and 16 samples obtained from Seoul, Cheonan, Daegu, Gunsan, and Gwangju, respectively. The identity of these isolated colonies was further assessed by using a latex agglutination kit. The agglutination assay data showed that the isolates were not E. coli O157:H7.

The data from this study could be used to design better food handling practices for reducing foodborne illnesses linked to fresh raw beef consumption.

Bacterial contamination in Saeng-go-gi, a ready-to-eat fresh raw beef dish sold in restaurants in South Korea

01.mar.15

Journal of Food Protection®, Number 3, March 2015, pp. 484-627, pp. 619-623(5)

Park, Myoung Su; Moon, Jin San; Todd, Ewen C. D.; Bahk, Gyung Jin

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/iafp/jfp/2015/00000078/00000003/art00022

E. coli turns into nightmare for Iowa toddler

When the Meincke family of rural Stockton got together in July at husband and father Kyle’s softball game, 3-year-old Logan just wasn’t himself.

logan.MeinckeThe toddler had a touch of diarrhea, which meant his mother, Jenny, took him to the restroom several times. On the other hand, the little fellow also ran around and chased after foul balls that left the field.

“Initially it looked like the flu,” Jenny Meincke said.

But when the family went home, Logan vomited after drinking some milk, so his parents decided to take him to a hospital emergency department.

Once the family got there, Logan was quickly admitted. The Meinckes spent two nights in Davenport before doctors decided to refer the case to University Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. 

Once Logan was admitted to that hospital, the diagnosis came quickly: It was an Escherichia coli, or E. coli, bacterial infection.

While many people recover from such infections in a week or two, young children such as Logan can have serious complications, and that is what happened. He developed a life-threatening form of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.

In January, the toddler underwent a kidney transplant with his mother as the donor.

The Meinckes have health insurance coverage, but the travel and other costs still have added up through a difficult situation that has continued for seven months. Friends of the couple, Jamie and Jason Collier, organized the Team Logan Benefit taking place Saturday night in Walcott.

E. coli researcher Colin Gill obit

I didn’t really know Colin Gill, but would run into him at meetings and he was always irascible Scottish.

colin.gill.2014He also devoted his research life to E. coli O157 and other STECs.

Sorry for the delay in notification, but I just got this yesterday.

Doctor Colin Ogilvie Gill died on the 13th of December 2014, at his home in Lacombe following a sudden illness.  Dr. Gill is survived by his wife Carol; his sons Alexander, Edmund and Benjamin; his grandchildren Kate, Beatrice and Matthew.

Dr. Gill was born in Forfar, Scotland in 1943.  He was educated at the Universities of Leicester and Hull.  In 1973 he emigrated with his wife and children to New Zealand where he conducted scientific research for the Meat Research Institute of New Zealand. Dr. Gill’s work on the microbiological safety and shelf life of meats in New Zealand was internationally recognized and he was recruited in 1990 as a Research Scientist by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, where he was employed at the Lacombe Research Station, until his death. 

Over his career Dr. Gill published over 250 scientific publications and 4 patents. The impact of his work was internationally recognized and he was regularly consulted by foreign governments and domestic and international industry. 

Dr. Gill’s work was recognized by the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation (1994), Agcellence Award (1996), the Canadian Meat Council Science and Technology Award (1999) and the Golden Harvest Award for Excellence in Science (2008).

NZ woman fined $1125 over home-kill meat

A Whangarei bakery manager has been fined after being convicted of buying unregulated home-kill meat she intended to use in produce sold across the counter.

meatIn Whangarei District Court on Monday Sok Heng Chhiv, 30, pleaded guilty to a charge of buying unregulated meat, which had not been processed in accordance with the Animal Products Act. The charge was laid by the Ministry for Primary Industries and Chhiv was fined $1125 and the unregulated meat was forfeited.

She had bought the meat from Whangarei homekill operator Arron Ogle, 40, director of Homekill Services, who was last month convicted of selling 71.7kg of unregulated meat and fined $2250.

The court heard on Monday that May 21, last year, an MPI animal products officer inspected Whau Valley Hot Bread Shop in Whangarei, then jointly owned and managed by Chhiv and her husband.

The officer found 71.7kg of beef that Chhiv had no receipts for. Meat for human consumption must be documented throughout the food chain so it can be traced back to its farm of origin should there be a health or hygiene issue.

Chhiv said she had bought 60kg of diced beef and 11.7kg of beef fillet and rump steak for $500 from “Aaron” the previous day. She said she had not bought meat from “Aaron” before, but did so because it was cheaper than the butcher and good quality. She said “Aaron” was a home-kill operator, but did not know it was illegal to buy meat from this source.

Outbreaks from raw milk on the rise in US

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that outbreaks caused by raw milk increased over a six-year period, according to a newly released CDC study. The study reviewed outbreaks caused by raw milk–milk that has not been pasteurized to kill disease-causing germs–in the United States that were reported to CDC from 2007-2012. The study analyzed the number of outbreaks, the legal status of raw milk sales in each state, and the number of illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths associated with these outbreaks.

colbert.raw.milkMore states are legalizing the sale of raw milk even though this leads to an increase in the number outbreaks.

Findings also showed that the number of states that have legalized the sale of raw milk has also increased. In 2004, there were 22 states where the sale of raw milk was legal in some form; however, this number increased to 30 in 2011. Eighty-one percent of outbreaks were reported in states where the sale of raw milk was legal.

Children were at the highest risk for illness from raw milk. About sixty percent of outbreaks involved at least one child younger than five years of age.

 Raw milk is a risk for human health.

You cannot look at, smell, or taste raw milk to determine if it is safe. Cows and other animals can appear healthy and clean, but can still have germs, like Salmonella and E. coli, which can cause illnesses in humans.

Milk cannot be collected without introducing some bacteria– even under ideal conditions of cleanliness. Unless the milk is pasteurized, these bacteria can multiply.

Even raw milk supplied by “certified,” “organic,” or “local” dairies has no guarantee of being safe. Raw milk from grass-fed animals is not considered safe either. 

raw-milk-infographic2-508c