Genetic Characterization of E. Coli O157:h7 Colonization of Cattle
A dangerous human pathogen, E. coli O157:H7 is part of the normal bacterial flora of healthy cattle. Our inability to intervene successfully and remove slight contamination of food products with E. coli O157:H7 has put consumers at risk. Our proposed work will contribute to the basic understanding of the relationship between cattle and the human pathogen E. coli O157:H7 (O157). Dissecting the components required for these bacteria to persist in cattle will lead to successful new interventions to reduce or eliminate O157 from our food. We will identify the bovine response to colonization with O157 and the bacterial components required to persist in the bovine gastrointestinal tract. This work has implications for understanding the on-farm ecology of this pathogen and the development of effective interventions to reduce contamination of food and
for interventions on the farm and for ruminant animal exhibits, particularly petting zoos and farms where children may enter animal pens.