Chapter 10 : Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli in Ruminant Hosts

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Enterohemorrhagic , or pathogenic Shiga toxin-producing (STEC), is distinguished from other pathogenic by its ability to produce Shiga toxins designated Stxl, Stx2, Stx2c, and Stx2e. O157:H7 is highly pathogenic, possesses numerous virulence factors, and is the most common cause of STEC disease in humans in many parts of the world. The accumulation of virulence factors into pathogenicity islands may have resulted from continued acquisition of genes from bacteriophages or plasmids that integrate at common integration sites such as the bacterial tRNA genes. The prevalence of 0157:H7 was higher in herds that weaned calves abruptly than in herds that used a variety of methods to gradually wean calves. Some of the most numerous bacterial species in the rumen and colon, such as spp. and spp., can hydrolyze esculin to the aglycone esculetin, thus producing inhibitory aglycones in the gastrointestinal tract. The major inhibitory factor under aerobic conditions is pyocyanin and under anerobic conditions appears to be fluorescein. The possibility of adding specific feed substances, feed additives, or competitive exclusion bacteria to the diets of cattle to reduce fecal shedding and rumen proliferation of STEC is promising but will require further study. Ruminants used as food are an important source of food-borne STEC infections in humans. Shedding of STEC is widespread in healthy cattle throughout the world.

Citation: Harmon B, Brown C, Doyle M, Zhao T. 2000. Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli in Ruminant Hosts, p 201-215. In Brown C, Bolin C (ed), Emerging Diseases of Animals. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818050.ch10
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