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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Prevention and Characterization of Persistent Colonization by E. Coli O157:h7 and Other Shiga Toxin-Producing E. Coli (Stec) in Cattle Project Number: 3625-32000-100-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Dec 28, 2010
End Date: Dec 27, 2015

Objective:
1) Determine and characterize molecular mechanisms promoting colonization, effective adherence, and persistence of E. coli O157:H7 and other STECs in cattle; 2) Understand the impact of bovine intestinal environment and immune responses on growth, adherence, and persistence of E. coli O157:H7 and other STECs in cattle; 3) Conduct comparative analysis of bovine E. coli O157:H7 and STEC isolates of public health significance to identify components for use in developing rapid diagnostic tools and effective interventions; and 4) Develop and test efficacy of chemical, biological, subunit proteins, and whole cell vaccines to prevent or reduce colonization of cattle intestines by E. coli O157:H7 and STECs.

Approach:
Experimental animal models, tissue cultures, and specific mutants will be used to describe molecular mechanism(s) enabling E. coli O157:H7 bacteria to grow, adhere, and colonize the cattle intestine. Reporter gene fusions and global gene analysis technologies will be used to determine effects of host gastrointestinal environment and innate immune system on the expression of specific bacterial genetic systems and metabolic pathways that promote E. coli O157:H7 persistence in cattle intestine. Emerging non-O157 STEC serotypes will be compared with E. coli O157:H7 to identify genetic and molecular features unique to these serotypes. Bacterial genes or gene products identified in these studies will be used, based on their importance in colonization, for developing whole-cell or protein/subunit protein vaccines for reducing or eliminating E. coli O157:H7 and non-O157 STEC colonization and shedding in cattle.

Last Modified: 4/23/2014
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