Malcolm M. Renfrew Interdisciplinary Colloquium Web Archive

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Carolyn Bohach
MRIC 2010/11

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Carolyn Bohach

"Cattle: the Silent Reservoir of E. coli O157:H7"

Carolyn Bohach
Food Science and Director, INBRE Program 
February 1- Idaho Commons Whitewater Room
12:30 pm

Abstract: Escherichia coli O157:H7 (O157) is a food-borne pathogen that causes hemorrhagic colitis and the hemolytic uremic syndrome, a life-threatening sequelae. Most infections are linked to the consumption of contaminated undercooked ground beef or uncooked vegetables contaminated with bovine waste. O157 are ubiquitous on the farm and can survive in raw manure, soil, and water.  Although O157 have been cultured from a variety of animals, healthy ruminants are the silent reservoir.   The O157 survive passage through the ruminant gastrointestinal tract and animals can be transiently colonized with this human pathogen.  Successful strategies to control or reduce the carriage and prevalence of O157 in cattle would reduce the risk of human disease. Ongoing research to systematically analyze the bacterial factors that contribute to the ability of O157 to colonize cattle will presented.  Virulence factors important in clinical disease, the O-antigen, and the role of the plasmid will be included.  In addition, insights about how the bacteria sense their environment (the farm or the gastrointestinal tract) will be discussed. 

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