Fecal shedding of foodborne pathogens by Florida-born heifers and steers in U.S. beef production segments. Academic Article uri icon


  • The objective in this study was to assess breed effects in fecal prevalence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in heifers on a development program in Florida and in their steer half siblings in stocker and feedlot phases in Oklahoma. A secondary objective was to characterize fecal shedding of Campylobacter and Salmonella in subsets of the same samples. After weaning, heifers (n = 501; purebreds and F1 crosses of Angus, Brahman, and Romosinuano) were preconditioned and placed in a local development program. Steers (n = 481) were transported to Oklahoma, where they grazed wheat for 6 months and then were placed in feedlot pens. Fecal samples were obtained at least every 28 days for 12 months on most animals. None of the 10,982 samples tested positive for E. coli O157:H7. Overall fecal prevalences of Campylobacter and Salmonella in heifers were 1.7 and 0.04%, respectively. Corresponding overall prevalences in steer samples were 27.2 and 0.6%. Campylobacter isolates were mostly C. jejuni and were tetracycline resistant. Eight Salmonella isolates were Salmonella Typhimurium that were either quad or penta resistant, most often to ampicillin, chloramphenicol, sulfamexathole, and tetracycline. Feedlot steers had greater odds of positive detection of Campylobacter (odds ratio, 8.5; confidence interval, 3.7, 19.5) than when grazing winter wheat. No breed effect was detected for fecal prevalence of these pathogens.

published proceedings

  • J Food Prot

author list (cited authors)

  • Riley, D. G., Loneragan, G. H., Phillips, W. A., Gray, J. T., & Fedorka-Cray, P. J.

citation count

  • 2

publication date

  • April 2008