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Can E. coli vaccines for cattle reduce human infections?

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Dennis Thompson
Health Day Reporter

Tuesday, September 17 (HealthDay News)-Vaccination of cattle E. coli According to British scientists, bacteria have the potential to reduce human infections by 85%, which is much higher than previously estimated.

Researchers have reviewed the method E. coli Keep in mind that the risk of transmission is especially important during the short period of time when cattle infect humans and the cattle “super-excrete” very large amounts of bacteria in their faeces.

Stuart Reid, senior research author and principal of the Royal Veterinary College at the University of London, said: “if vaccination At that time, affecting these animals, the risk to humans is disproportionately reduced. “

Previous studies predicted that vaccination of cattle could reduce it. E. coli Although the risk is 50%, these studies did not consider the effects of vaccination on “supersheding”.

A new study of Scottish cattle was published in the September 16-20 issue of the journal. Minutes of the National Academy of Sciences..

E. coli Infection causes severe Stomach Human illness and, in some cases, death. It spreads by consuming contaminated food and water, most often ground beef.

Approximately 1,100 confirmed cases E. coli According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the infection occurred in the United States in 2012. Prevention.. They led to 275 hospitalizations and 2 deaths. CDC for all reported cases E. coliThere are probably 26 more undiagnosed ones.

vaccination Against E. coli According to the authors of the study, the use of cattle is approved in the United States and Canada, but farmers are less interested in their use.

Farmers do not vaccinate cows E. coli Cattle do not get sick with bacteria, so said Mike Doyle, a prominent professor of food microbiology and director of the center. Food safety At the University of Georgia.

“Peasants get no reward from a production standpoint,” Doyle said. “Vaccines do not help animals grow healthier.”

Extensive vaccination may require government intervention. “Unless all farmers are required by the government to be vaccinated, doing so would be cost-effective and uncompetitive,” Doyle said.

Dr. Louise Matthews, senior research author and senior researcher at the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine at the University of Glasgow, said such interventions should be seriously considered.

“Treat cattle to reduce the number of human cases [of E. Coli] It certainly makes sense from a human health perspective, and while calculating the cost of a vaccination program requires more work, we must take public health legitimacy seriously. ” Said Matthews.

Researchers began by identifying the relevant genetic markers first. E. coli Beef super shedding.After that, they studied the relationship with cows, which are prone to super-sheds. E. coli And the outbreak of sick humans, E. coli It happens most of the time when linked to super shedding.

Researchers are currently working on more effective development vaccination It will further reduce the risk E. coli occurrence.

Doyle warned against generalizing Scottish results to the United States, but noted that farming practices were very different between the two. For example, Scottish beef is mainly bred on pasture.

“We can’t automatically presume what they find over there to what we have here,” he said. “There will be more research that will need to be done to see how useful or relevant this information is for American farmers.”

Dr. Georges Benjamin, Executive Secretary of the American Public Health Association, said the results were interesting. However, he said he was concerned that vaccines may now reduce the emphasis on common-sense food safety methods that provide effective protection against food-borne illnesses.

“I want to emphasize [that] “It does not replace careful monitoring of animal health or food safety processes as animals move through the pipeline to become our food,” Benjamin said. Food safety.. You will still have to wash your hands. You will still need to make sure your food is properly prepared. “

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References

Source: Stuart Reed, Principal of Royal Veterinary College, University of London. Mike Doyle, Professor of Food Microbiology, Director of Food Safety Center, University of Georgia, Athens. Dr. Georges Benjamin, Executive Director of the American Society of Public Health. September 16, 2013, Minutes of the National Academy of Sciences

Can E. coli vaccines for cattle reduce human infections?

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