Association of Wild Bird Density and Farm Management Factors with the Prevalence of <i>E. coli</i> O157 in Dairy Herds in Ohio (2007–2009)
OBJECTIVE To describe shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coil O157:H7 (STEC O157:H7) fecal shedding prevalence, seasonal fecal shedding patterns, and site-specific prevalence from the oral cavity, skin, and feces of dairy cattle. DESIGN Cross-sectional study. ANIMALS Adult dairy cattle from 13 herds in Louisiana. PROCEDURE Samples were cultured for STEC O157 by use of sensitive and specific techniques, including selective broth enrichment, immunomagnetic separation, monoclonal antibody-based O:H enzyme immunoassay serotyping, and polymerase chain reaction virulence gene characterization. Point estimates and 95% confidence intervals were calculated for fecal shedding prevalence as well as site-specific prevalence from the oral cavity, skin, and feces. Logistic regression was used to assess seasonal variation and differences at various stages of lactation with respect to fecal shedding of STEC O157 in cattle sampled longitudinally. RESULTS Summer prevalence in herds in = 13) was 38.5%, with a cow-level prevalence of 6.5%. Among positive herds, prevalence ranged from 3% to 34.6%. Samples from 3 of 5 herds sampled quarterly over 1 year yielded positive results for STEC O157. In herds with STEC O157, an increase in cow-level prevalence was detected during spring (13.3%) and summer (10.5%), compared with values for fall and winter. Site-specific prevalences of STEC O157:H7 from oral cavity, skin, and fecal samples were 0%, 0.7%, and 25.2%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Our data indicated that STEC O157:H7 was commonly isolated from dairy cows in Louisiana, seasonally shed, and isolated from the skin surface but not the oral cavity of cows.