Reduction of Escherichia coli O157:H7 Shedding in cattle by addition of chitosan microparticles to feed

Kwang Cheol Jeong, Min Young Kang, Jihun Kang, David J. Baumler, Charles W. Kaspar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 (EHEC) is a significant human pathogen that resides in healthy cattle. It is thought that a reduction in the prevalence and numbers of EHEC in cattle will reduce the load of EHEC entering the food chain. To this end, an intervention strategy involving the addition of chitosan microparticles (CM) to feed in order to reduce the carriage of this pathogen in cattle was evaluated. Experiments with individual Holstein calves and a crossover study found that the addition of CM to feed decreased E. coli O157:H7 shedding. In the crossover study, CM resulted in statistically significant reductions in the numbers recovered from rectal swab samples (P < 0.05) and the duration of shedding (P < 0.05). The effects of feeding CM to calves differed, indicating that the optimal levels of CM may differ between animals or that other factors are involved in the interaction between CM and E. coli O157:H7. In vitro studies demonstrated that E. coli O157:H7 binds to CM, suggesting that the reduction in shedding may result at least in part from the binding of positively charged CM to negatively charged E. coli cells. Additional studies are needed to determine the impact of CM feeding on animal production, but the results from this study indicate that supplementing feed with CM reduces the shedding of E. coli O157:H7 in cattle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2611-2616
Number of pages6
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 2011


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