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Published Articles from USDA ARS National Program 108: Food Safety
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Title: Investigation of bacterial diversity in the feces of cattle fed different diets
Authors: Kim MS, Kim J, Kuehn LA, Bono JL, Berry ED, Kalchayanand N, Freetly HC, Benson AK, Wells J
Journal: J Animal Sci
Accepted date: 2013 Nov 19
Interpretive summary: Recent research has indicated that diet may greatly influence the shedding of E. coli O157:H7, however little is known about the influence of diet on other bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Fecal samples were collected from 290 feedlot cattle fed finishing diets with high levels of corn or moderate levels of corn and from 136 cattle fed a forage-based diet. Compositions of the bacteria in the feces were determined using modern DNA sequencing methods. Within a dietary group, the compositions of the bacteria were similar across multiple animals. Between the dietary groups, the composition of bacteria was different due to diet. Forage had a greater influence on the differences than did the level of corn in the diet. From this study, it appears that the bovine diet can greatly influence the composition of the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract and feces. Understanding the influence of indigenous microflora on the colonization and shedding of E. coli O157:H7 will provide a possible avenue for intervention in the preharvest beef production environment not yet exploited.
Publication date: 2014 Feb
Volume: 92
Issue: 2
Pages: 683-94