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Prevalence of faecal excretion of verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli 0157 in cattle in England and Wales
  1. G. A. Paiba1,
  2. J. W. Wilesmith1,2,
  3. S. J. Evans1,
  4. S. J. S. Pascoe1,
  5. R. P. Smith1,
  6. S. A. Kidd1,
  7. J. B. M. Ryan1,
  8. I. M. Mclaren3,
  9. S. A. Chappell3,
  10. G. A. Willshaw4,
  11. T. Cheasty4,
  12. N. P. French5,
  13. T. W. H. Jones6,
  14. H. F. Buchanan7,
  15. D. J. Challoner8,
  16. A. D. Colloff9,
  17. M. P. Cranwell10,
  18. R. G. Daniel11,
  19. I. H. Davies12,
  20. J. P. Duff13,
  21. R. A. T. Hogg14,
  22. F. D. Kirby15,
  23. M. F. Millar6,
  24. R. J. Monies16,
  25. M. J. Nicholls17 and
  26. J. H. Payne18
  1. 1 Centre for Epidemiology and Risk Analysis, Veterinary Laboratories Agency - Weybridge, New Haw, Surrey KT15 3NB
  2. 2 Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, Keppel Street, London WClE 7HT
  3. 3 Department of Bacterial Diseases, Veterinary Veterinary Laboratories Agency - Weybridge, New Haw, Surrey KT15 3NB
  4. 4 Laboratory for Enteric Pathogens, Public Health Laboratory Service, 61 Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5HT
  5. 5 Department of Clinical Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, University of Liverpool, Neston, South Wirral CH64 7TE
  6. 6 Veterinary Laboratories Agency - Langford
  7. 7 Veterinary Laboratories Agency -Thirsk
  8. 8 Veterinary Laboratories Agency -Newcastle
  9. 9 Veterinary Laboratories Agency -Luddington
  10. 10 Veterinary Laboratories Agency -Starcross
  11. 11 Veterinary Laboratories Agency -Carmarthen
  12. 12 Veterinary Laboratories Agency -Shrewsbury
  13. 13 Veterinary Laboratories Agency -Penrith
  14. 14 Veterinary Laboratories Agency -Preston
  15. 15 Veterinary Laboratories Agency -Aberystwyth
  16. 16 Veterinary Laboratories Agency -Truro
  17. 17 Veterinary Laboratories Agency -Winchester
  18. 18 Veterinary Laboratories Agency -Sutton Bonington
  1. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, IA Page Street, London SWIP 4PR
  2. Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, PO Box 327, Howard Davis Farm, Trinity, Jersey JE4 8UF, Channel Islands


During the decade to 1999, the incidence of human infections with the zoonotic pathogen verocytotoxinproducing Escherichia coli 0157 (VTEC 0157) increased in England and Wales. This paper describes the results of a survey of 75 farms to determine the prevalence of faecal excretion of VTEC 0157 by cattle, its primary reservoir host, in England and Wales. Faecal samples were collected from 4663 cattle between June and December 1999. The prevalence of excretion by individual cattle was 4.2 per cent (95 per cent confidence interval [cia 2.0 to 6.4) and 10.3 per cent (95 per cent cl 5.8 to 14.8) among animals in infected herds. The within-herd prevalence on positive farms ranged from 1.1 to 51.4 per cent. At least one positive animal was identified on 29 (38-7 per cent; 95 per cent Cl 28.1 to 50.4) of the farms, including dairy, suckler and fattening herds. The prevalence of excretion was least in the calves under two months of age, peaked in the calves aged between two and six months and declined thereafter. The phage types identified most widely were 4, 34 and 2, which were each found on six of the 29 positive farms.

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