Development of Novel Vaccines for Escherichia Coli O157:h7 to Inhibit Colonization of Cattle Reservoir Hosts
Escherichia coli O157:H7 continues to be a major concern for the Idaho and nation-wide beef industry and public health. Despite increased awareness and better detection and surveillance methods, significant outbreaks and subsequent food recalls continue to occur because the organism uses ruminant animals, particularly cattle, as a silent reservoir. This lack of overt symptoms in the reservoir host makes it difficult to determine point source contamination. In addition, the infectious dose for the bacteria in humans is very low, <100 organisms, compounding the problem of detection and safety since extremely low contamination levels constitute serious potential hazard if food is undercooked or mishandled during preparation. Outbreaks of E. coli O157:H7 continue to negatively impact the Idaho and national cattle industry. Our research is aimed at
understanding the basic biology of E. coli O157 colonization of cattle and to build an effective vaccine that will prevent colonization in this silent reservoir. Our vaccine strategy employs the use of new vaccine adjuvants that are directed at stimulating the mammalian innate immune response thereby promoting a better specific and long lasting specific immunity.