Animal Science, Department of


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Published in Journal of Food Protection, Vol. 70, No. 2, 2007, Pages 287-291. Copyright © International Association for Food Protection. Used by permission.


A 2-year study was conducted during the summer months (May to September) to test the effectiveness of feeding Lactobacillus acidophilus strain NP51 on the proportion of cattle shedding Escherichia coli 0157:H7 in the feces and evaluate the effect of the treatment on finishing performance. Steers (n = 448) were assigned randomly to pens, and pens of cattle were assigned randomly to NP5 1 supplementation or no supplementation (control). NP5 1 products were mixed with water and applied as the feed was mixed daily in treatment-designated trucks at the rate of l09 CFU per steer. Fecal samples were collected (n = 3,360) from the rectum from each animal every 3 weeks, and E. coli 0157:H7 was isolated by standard procedures, using selective enrichment, immunomagnetic separation, and PCR confirmation. The outcome variable was the recovery of E. coli 0157:H7 from feces, and was modeled using logistic regression accounting for year, repeated measures of pens of cattle, and block. No significant differences were detected for gain, intakes, or feed efficiency of control or NP51-fed steers. The probability for cattle to shed E. coli 0157:H7 varied significantly between 2002 and 2003 (P = 0.004). In 2002 and 2003, the probability for NP5 1-treated steers to shed E. coli 0157:H7 over the test periods was 13 and 21 %, respectively, compared with 21 and 28% among controls. Over the 2 years, NP51-treated steers were 35% less likely to shed E. coli 0157: H7 than were steers in untreated pens (odds ratio = 0.58, P = 0.008). This study is consistent with previous reports that feeding NP51 is effective in reducing E. coli 0157:H7 fecal shedding in feedlot cattle.