Prevalence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in white-tailed deer from Louisiana

John R. Dunn, James E. Keen, David Moreland, R. Alex Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Escherichia coli O157:H7 (EC O157) is an important zoonosis. White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) have been implicated in transmission of this bacterium to humans and have been suggested as reservoirs that might affect carriage in cattle populations. Our study objectives were to estimate prevalence of EC O157 in feces of hunter-harvested deer and to describe fecal shedding patterns in a captive herd sampled over 1 yr. Prevalence of EC O157 in hunter-harvested deer was 0.3% (n=338). In August 2001, EC O157 was detected in one of 55 deer (1.8%) from the captive herd. Prevalence over the 1-yr period was 0.4% (n=226). Eschetichia coli O157:H7 was rarely isolated from hunter-harvested deer during the winter. We could not describe a seasonal shedding pattern based on one positive sample in the captive herd. These data do not support a prominent role of deer as a reservoir for EC O157 for cattle or humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-365
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of wildlife diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Escherichia coli O157:H7
  • Fecal shedding
  • Foodborne disease
  • Odocoileus virginianus
  • Prevalence
  • Seasonal
  • White-tailed deer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


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