Road less traveled: Shiga-toxin E. coli cluster on farms and among farms separated by roads

The aim of this study was to examine the population structure, transmission and spatial relationship between genotypes of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and Campylobacter jejuni, on 20 dairy farms in a defined catchment.

road-less-traveledPooled faecal samples (n = 72) obtained from 288 calves were analysed by real-time polymerase chain reaction (rtPCR) for E. coli serotypes O26, O103, O111, O145 and O157. The number of samples positive for E. coli O26 (30/72) was high compared to E. coli O103 (7/72), O145 (3/72), O157 (2/72) and O111 (0/72). Eighteen E. coli O26 and 53 C. jejuni isolates were recovered from samples by bacterial culture. E. coli O26 and C. jejuni isolates were genotyped using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and multilocus sequence typing, respectively.

All E. coli O26 isolates could be divided into four clusters and the results indicated that E. coli O26 isolates recovered from calves on the same farm were more similar than isolates recovered from different farms in the catchment. There were 11 different sequence types of C. jejuni isolated from the cattle and 22 from water.

An analysis of the population structure of C. jejuni isolated from cattle provided evidence of clustering of genotypes within farms, and among groups of farms separated by road boundaries.

Diversity and relatedness of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli and Campylobacter jejuni between farms in a dairy catchment

Epidemiology and Infection / Volume 144 / Issue 07 / May 2016, pp 1406-1417

Seven E. coli illnesses linked to Connecticut farm

Visiting animal displays are risky. Some animals shed pathogens in crazy high concentrations. The pathogens move around with foot traffic, sawdust and soil; end up on hand rails, rafters, water bottles and snacks.

Addressing risks is not just about handwashing.

According to the Hartford Courant a cluster of seven cases of pathogenic E. coli are linked to visiting a farm in Connecticut.

Officials said Thursday that six of the seven patients had visited the Oak Leaf Dairy Farm, and as a precaution the farm is not allowing people to visit the animals.

The seven patients are between 2 and 25 years old, according to DPH.

“Earlier today, DPH was informed of several patients from southeastern Connecticut who have become ill with E. coli,” said DPH Commissioner Raul Pino in a statement. “We are closely monitoring the situation and working with our partners at the CDC and other relevant stakeholders. We will continue to work diligently to provide the public with the information it needs as we investigate.”

Additionally the DPH was notified of two cases of hemolytic ermic syndrome, which affects the kidneys and the bloods ability to clot, officials said. It can develop in patients who have contracted E. coli.

A call to the farm Oak Leaf Dairy Farm was not immediately returned.

A table of petting zoo related outbreaks can be found here.