The latest research says about 2% of all cattle, including those in feedlots and those on pasture, may be "supershedders," a term scientists have coined to describe cattle which turn out high levels of pathogenic organisms.
One of those problem organisms, of course, is Escherichia coli O157:H7.
This supershedding of pathogens in manure by the few is believed by some to be a primary source of contamination for all cattle entering slaughter facilities.
Findings from studies by researcher Terrance M. Arthur and his colleagues at the USDA Agricultural Research Service Roman L. Hruska US Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, NE, hope to provide a scientifically sound basis for new and effective strategies to curb shedding of this bacterium.
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