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Natural and experimental infection of normal caftle with Escherichia coli 0157
  1. C. Wray, BVM&S, PhD, FRCPath, MRCVS1,1,
  2. I. M. McLaren, HNC1,
  3. L. P. Randall, MSc, MlBiol, CBiol1 and
  4. G. R. Pearson, BVMS, PhD, MRCPath, MRCVS2
  1. 1 Veterinary Laboratories Agency-Weybridge, New Haw, Addlestone KT15 3NB
  2. 2 Department of Veterinary Pathology, University of Bristol, Langford, Bristol BS18 7DU


The objective of the study was to determine the effects of inoculating cattle orally with a strain of Escherichia coli 0157:H7 (A84/92). However, before they were challenged two of the six calves were found to be infected naturally with a wild-type strain of E coli 0157 and two more of them became infected later. The number of daily faeces samples from which the wild-type E coli 0157 was isolated ranged from one to 10. After they were inoculated, A84/92 was detected in all the calves' faeces on one to six of the next 14 days, and later from the faeces samples of three calves on two, three, and 11 occasions, the last occasion being between 19 and 51 days after inoculation. Two calves were redosed with A84/92, and the organism was isolated on a further five and 15 occasions, the last being after 20 and 58 days. In three dry cows, A84/92 was isolated from the faeces on three to 1 1 of the 14 days after they were inoculated. Two of the cows were redosed and from one of them it was isolated on 15 occasions, the last being 44 days after the initial infection; in the other cow no further isolation was made. In three lactating cows, it was detected on three to four of the 14 days after they were inoculated, and similar results were obtained after they were reinoculated. None of the animals showed clinical signs and no lesions were detected in the intestines of the calves. Three calves had a serological response to E coli 0157 but, with the exception of one cow which had a slight increase to IgM levels, no serological changes were observed in the adult cattle.

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