U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Carlson, J.C., J.C. Chandler, B. Bisha, J.T. LeJeune, and T.E. Wittum. 2020. Bird-livestock interactions associated with increased cattle fecal shedding of ciprofloxacin-resistant Escherichia coli within feedlots in the United States. Scientific Reports 10:10174. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-66782-4


This research study was conducted to determine if bird depredation in feedlots is associated with the prevalence of ciprofloxacin-resistant Escherichia coli in cattle and to determine if removal of invasive bird species could be an effective management strategy to help reduce ciprofloxacin-resistant E. coliin cattle within the United States. european starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) were collected from feedlots within multiple geographic regions within the United States and european starlings within all regions tested positive for ciprofloxacin-resistant E. coli, but prevalence differed by region. Total number of birds on feedlots were positively associated with increased cattle fecal shedding of ciprofloxacin-resistant E. coli. Targeted control of invasive European starlings reduced bird numbers on feedlots by 70.4%, but decreasing populations of European starlings was not associated with corresponding reductions in bovine fecal prevalence of ciprofloxacin-resistant E. coli. these data provide evidence for the role of wild bird depredation in feedlots contributing to fecal shedding of ciprofloxacin-resistant E. coli, but a single month of European starling control in feedlots was not sufficient to impact the fecal carriage of this organism in cattle.