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The Use Of Direct‐Fed Microbials To Reduce Shedding Of Escherichia Coli O157 In Beef Cattle: A Systematic Review And Meta‐analysis

L. Wisener, J. Sargeant, A. O'Connor, M. Faires, S. Glass-Kaastra
Published 2015 · Biology, Medicine

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Human illness due to infections with Escherichia coli O157 is a serious health concern. Infection occurs through direct contact with infected animals or their faeces, through contaminated food or water and/or through person‐to‐person transmission. A reduction in faecal E. coli O157 shedding in cattle might reduce the burden of human infections. We used systematic review and meta‐analysis to assess the efficacy of direct‐fed microbials (DFM), compared with placebo or no treatment, fed during the pre‐harvest stage of production in reducing faecal E. coli O157 shedding in beef cattle during field trials. Four electronic databases, Nebraska Beef Reports and review article reference lists were searched. A total of 16 publications assessing faecal shedding at the end of the trial and/or throughout the trial period were included. The majority of publicly disseminated trials evaluated the prevalence of E. coli O157 faecal shedding; only two evaluated the concentration of organisms in faeces. The prevalence of faecal E. coli O157 shedding in cattle is significantly reduced by DFM treatments (summary effect size for all DFM – OR = 0.46; CI = 0.36–0.60). The DFM combination Lactobacillus acidophilus (NP51) and Propionibacterium freudenreichii (NP24) was more efficacious in reducing the prevalence of faecal E. coli O157 shedding at the time of harvest and throughout the trial period compared with the group of other DFM, although this difference was not statistically significant. Furthermore, we found that the combination [NP51 and NP24] treatment was more efficacious in reducing the prevalence of faecal E. coli O157 shedding at the time of harvest and throughout the trial period when fed at the dose of 109 CFU/animal/day than any lesser amount, although this difference was not statistically significant. Feeding beef cattle DFM during the pre‐harvest stage of production reduces the prevalence of E. coli O157 faecal shedding and might effectively reduce human infections.
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