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AMI Foundation, Beef Checkoff Jointly Fund E. Coli O157:H7 Research

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Washington, DC—The AMI Foundation and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) on behalf of America’s beef producers are collaborating on a follow-up study to an AMIF/Texas Tech University research project that found two strains of lactobacilli, bacteria commonly used to make yogurt, fed to cattle can substantially decrease the incidence of cattle shedding enteric E. coli O157:H7.

The American Meat Institute’s Executive Committee voted in January to provide funding for half of the project’s expenses. The beef checkoff will fund the other half.

The study, which began in April, will aid in the development of an effective and economically feasible intervention strategy to reduce the prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 in feedlot cattle. The initial research of Texas Tech University’s Mindy Brashears, Ph.D., revealed that feeding cattle a diet of so called “good bacteria” or Lactobacillus acidophilus reduced the incidence of cattle shedding E. coli O157:H7 by 50 percent.

The follow-up study, titled “Reduction of E. coli O157:H7 in Beef Feedlot Cattle Using Varying Doses of a Direct-Fed Microbial,” will evaluate the effects of three different doses of the Lactobacilli strain NPC 747 on the prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 in the feces and on the hides of cattle throughout the feeding period.

“This research project marks a milestone in industry collaboration on research to find a solution to ongoing challenges in eliminating E. coli O157:H7,” said AMI Foundation President Jim Hodges. “We hope this leads to additional collaboration on promising new technologies.”

“After several years of checkoff funded research to identify effective technologies to address this elusive pathogen on live animals, our beef producers are very pleased to have the opportunity to share in the funding of this promising pre-harvest intervention,” said James O. Reagan, Ph D., vice president, research and knowledge management, NCBA.

Researchers from Texas Tech University and West Texas A&M University will conduct the study. The team will include Brashears, Michael Galyean, Ph.D., Guy Loneragan, Ph.D., and Spring Younts Dahl, Ph.D. Researchers contend that the study is the logical and necessary progression from the previous research and is designed to evaluate the effects of feeding NPC 747 at lower dose levels throughout the feeding period on the prevalence of E. coli O157:H7.

The research aims to further optimize this pre-harvest intervention to improve the economic viability, while ensuring its effectiveness on reduction of the prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 in feedlot cattle.

AMI represents the interests of packers and processors of beef, pork, lamb, veal and turkey products and their suppliers throughout North America. Together, AMI's members produce 95 percent of the beef, pork, lamb and veal products and 70 percent of the turkey products in the U.S. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute provides legislative, regulatory, public relations, technical, scientific and educational services to the industry. Its affiliate, the AMI Foundation, is a separate 501(c)3 organization that conducts research, education and information projects for the industry.

For more information contact:
Dan Murphy
Vice President, Public Affairs
Josee Meehan
Manager, Public Affairs

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