Shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli O157 in agricultural fair livestock, United States

James E. Keen, Thomas E. Wittum, John R. Dunn, James L. Bono, Lisa M. Durso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Agricultural fairs exhibiting livestock are increasingly implicated in human Shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli O157:H7 (STEC O157:H7) outbreaks. To estimate livestock STEC O157:H7 prevalence at US fairs, we collected 2,919 fecal specimens at 29 county fairs in 2 states and at 3 state fairs in 2002. Fly pools were also collected. STEC O157:H7 was isolated from livestock at 31 (96.9%) of 32 fairs, including 11.4% of 1,407 cattle, 1.2% of 1,102 swine, 3.6% of 364 sheep and goats, and 5.2% of 154 fly pools. Cattle, swine, and flies at some fairs shared indistinguishable STEC O157:H7 isolate subtypes. In 2003, a total of 689 ambient environmental samples were collected at 20 fairgrounds 10-11 months after 2002 livestock sampling while fairgrounds were livestock-free. Four beef barn environmental samples at 3 fairgrounds yielded STEC O157:H7. These data suggest that STEC O157 is common and transmissible among livestock displayed at agricultural fairs and persists in the environment after the fair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)780-786
Number of pages7
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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