Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Vaccinating cattle against E. coli could cut human cases of infection by 85 percent

Date:
September 16, 2013
Source:
University of Glasgow
Summary:
Vaccinating cattle against the E. coli O157 bacterium could cut the number of human cases of the disease by 85 percent, according to scientists.

Vaccinating cattle against the E. coli O157 bacterium could cut the number of human cases of the disease by 85%, according to scientists.

The bacteria, which cause severe gastrointestinal illness and even death in humans, are spread by consuming contaminated food and water, or by contact with livestock feces in the environment. Cattle are the main reservoir for the bacterium.

The vaccines that are available for cattle are rarely used, but could be significant.

The research was lead by a team of researchers at the University of Glasgow in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh, the Royal Veterinary College, Scotland's Rural College, Health Protection Scotland, and the Scottish E. coli O157/VTEC Reference Laboratory.

The study, published in the online journal PNAS, used veterinary, human and molecular data to examine the risks of E. coli O157 transmission from cattle to humans, and to estimate the impact of vaccinating cattle.

The risk of E. coli O157 infection is particularly significant when the cattle are 'super-shedding' -- excreting extremely high numbers of bacteria in their feces for a limited period of time. Vaccines against the bacteria exist that can reduce super-shedding.

As a consequence, the researchers predict that vaccinating cattle could reduce human cases by nearly 85 percent, far higher than the 50 percent predicted by studies simply looking at the efficacy of current vaccines in cattle.

These figures provide strong support for the adoption of vaccines by the livestock industry, and work is now underway to establish the economic basis for such a program of vaccination. In addition, research is continuing in Scotland by the same collaborative grouping to develop even more effective vaccines that would further reduce the impact on human disease.

Lead author, Dr Louise Matthews, Senior Research Fellow in the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, said: "E. coli O157 is a serious gastrointestinal illness. The economic impact is also serious -- for instance studies in the US suggest that healthcare, lost productivity and food product recalls due to E. coli O157 can cost hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

"Treating cattle in order to reduce the number of human cases certainly makes sense from a human health perspective and, while more work is needed to calculate the cost of a vaccination program, the public health justification must be taken seriously."

In Scotland, an average of 235 culture positive cases of E. coli O157 infection per year (i.e. people who had the organism in their stools) were notified to Health Protection Scotland from 2008 to 2012.

The vaccines that are available currently have poor take-up: one version in the US is not fully licensed because medicines for veterinary use must show that animal health is improved. This is problematic because E. coli O157 does not harm cattle and assessing the impact of treatment involves coordination between human and veterinary health practitioners.

Senior author Professor Stuart Reid of the Royal Veterinary College added: "We increasingly recognize the fact that we share a common environment with the animals we keep -- and inevitably the pathogens they harbor. This study is an excellent example the interface between veterinary and human medicine and of the concept of 'One Health' in action -- controlling infections in animals can have a major impact on public health."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Glasgow. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. L. Matthews, R. Reeve, D. L. Gally, J. C. Low, M. E. J. Woolhouse, S. P. McAteer, M. E. Locking, M. E. Chase-Topping, D. T. Haydon, L. J. Allison, M. F. Hanson, G. J. Gunn, S. W. J. Reid. Predicting the public health benefit of vaccinating cattle against Escherichia coli O157. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1304978110

Cite This Page:

University of Glasgow. "Vaccinating cattle against E. coli could cut human cases of infection by 85 percent." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130916162011.htm>.
University of Glasgow. (2013, September 16). Vaccinating cattle against E. coli could cut human cases of infection by 85 percent. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130916162011.htm
University of Glasgow. "Vaccinating cattle against E. coli could cut human cases of infection by 85 percent." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130916162011.htm (accessed August 2, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

AFP (Aug. 1, 2014) The discovery of a bear cub in the Pyrenees mountains made headlines in April 2014. Despire several attempts to find the animal's mother, the cub remained alone. Now, the Pyrenees Conservation Foundation has constructed an enclosure. Duration: 00:31 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rare Whale Fossil Pulled from Calif. Backyard

Rare Whale Fossil Pulled from Calif. Backyard

AP (Aug. 1, 2014) A rare whale fossil has been pulled from a Southern California backyard. The 16- to 17-million-year-old baleen whale fossil is one of about 20 baleen whale fossils known to exist. (Aug. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins