The objectives of this study were to determine whether fecal shedding of non-O157 Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in feedlot cattle was affected by the use of an E. coli O157:H7 vaccine or a direct-fed microbial (DFM) and whether the shedding of a particular non-O157 STEC serogroup within feces was associated with shedding of O157 or other non-O157 STEC serogroups. A total of 17,148 cattle in 40 pens were randomized to receive one, both, or neither (control) of the two interventions: a vaccine based on the siderophore receptor and porin proteins (E. coli SRP vaccine, two doses) and a DFM product (low-dose Bovamine). Fresh fecal samples (30 samples per pen) were collected weekly from pen floors for four consecutive weeks beginning approximately 56 days after study allocation. DNA extracted from enriched samples was tested for STEC O157 and non-O157 serogroups O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145 and for four major virulence genes (stx 1, stx 2, eae, and ehxA) using an 11-gene multiplex PCR assay. Generalized linear mixed models were used to analyze the effects of treatments and make within-sample comparisons of the presence of O-serogroup–specific genes. Results of cumulative prevalence measures indicated that O157 (14.6%), O26 (10.5%), and O103 (10.3%) were the most prevalent STEC O serogroups. However, the vaccine, DFM, or both had no significant effect (P > 0.05) on fecal prevalence of the six non-O157 STEC serogroups in feedlot cattle. Within-sample comparisons of the presence of STEC serogroup–specific genes indicated that fecal shedding of E. coli O157 in cattle was associated with an increased probability (P < 0.05) of fecal shedding of STEC O26, O45, O103, and O121. Our study revealed that neither the E. coli O157:H7 vaccine, which reduced STEC O157 fecal shedding, nor the DFM significantly affected fecal shedding of non-O157 STEC serogroups, despite the fact that the most prevalent non-O157 STEC serogroups tended to occur concurrently with O157 STEC strains within fecal samples.
Journal of Food Protection®, Number 5, May 2014, pp. 696-863 , pp. 732-737(6)