[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A randomised controlled trial was used to investigate the effect of three complex management intervention packages to reduce the burden of E. coli O157 in groups of young-stock on cattle farms in England and Wales. All intervention farms were assigned measures to avoid buying in new animals and having direct contact or sharing water sources with other cattle. Furthermore, package A (7 farms) aimed to keep a clean environment and closed groups of young-stock; package B (14 farms) aimed for improved water and feed hygiene, whilst package C was assigned both A and B. The control farms (26 farms) were asked not to alter their practices. Farms, which were assigned intervention package A, exhibited a 48% reduction in E. coli O157 burden over the 4.5 months (average) of observation, compared to 18% on the control farms. The effect of package A compared to the control farms in a crude intention-to-treat model was RR = 0.26 (p=0.122). When the risk ratio was adjusted for actual application of the different measures, the effect of intervention package A became stronger and statistically significant (RR = 0.14 p=0.032). Statistical evidence (p< 0.05) showed that dry bedding and maintaining animals in the same groups were the most important measures within the package and weak evidence (p< 0.1) showed that a closed herd policy and no contact with other cattle may also be of importance. Compliance with the other measures in package A had no influence on the effect of the package. No evidence of effect of the other two intervention packages was found.
Veterinary Research 01/2008; 39(1):3. · 3.43 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We conducted a cross-sectional study on 255 cattle farms in England and Wales to identify risk factors for verocytotoxin-producing E. coli O157 (VTEC). Exposure variables were collected at the levels of the farm and of the group of young-stock within the farms. On each farm a group of young-stock (6-18 months of age) was sampled to establish VTEC status. In our multiple logistic regression, farm VTEC status was associated with access to springs (OR: 0.31, CI95%: 0.12, 0.78) and assessing the wetness of the bedding material less frequently than daily (OR: 3.89 CI95%: 1.5, 10.2). At group-level we found no associated risk factors for animals housed outdoors in fields. Significant for groups housed in pens were wet bedding (wet OR: 3.43, CI95%: 1.3, 9.4; very wet OR: 4.24, CI95%: 1.2, 14.6), number of animals in the group (10-15 OR: 2.72, CI95%: 0.75, 9.9, 16-24, OR: 3.78, CI95%: 1.2, 12.3; >25 OR: 3.78, CI95%: 1.1, 12.7) and feeding straw (OR: 2.29, CI95%: 1.2, 5.5).
Preventive Veterinary Medicine 12/2007; 82(1-2):29-41. · 2.39 Impact Factor