Is the prevalence and shedding concentrations of E. coli O157 in beef cattle in Scotland seasonal?


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The prevalence of Escherichia coli O157 in Scottish beef cattle at abattoir was found to be greater during the cooler months [11.2% (95% CI, 8.4–13.9%)] compared to the warmer months [7.5% (95% CI, 5.4–9.6%)]; the reverse of seasonality of human infections. However, high shedding beef cattle (excreting >104 g−1) appear to shed greater concentrations of E. coli O157 in the warmer months which may partly explain increased human infection seasonality at this time.