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Understanding the risks for E. Coli (VTEC O157) shedding on Open Farms - OZ0716

Escherichia coli O157 is a micro-organism that can cause severe human illness, in particular in children. Ruminants, especially cattle, are the main reservoir of E. coli O157. People may become infected as a result of the ingestion of contaminated food or water, direct contact with animals or their faeces or via person-to-person transmission. Direct contact with animals during farm visits is increasingly recognized as an important source of infection in the UK.

In this project we will work with a large sample of UK open farms and city farms to assess their characteristics and identify which groups of open and city farms are more likely to present environmental contamination by E. Coli O157 and by two other micro-organisms which are also transmitted by ruminants (Salmonella and Campylobacter). We will also examine the evidence that has been generated by previous research on the subject and will combine the results of our field and laboratory work with this evidence to make suggestions as to how to reduce the risk of visitors being exposed to the pathogens. We will work in close contact with farm managers and staff to ensure that our findings are applicable and result in an improved management of the farms and the animals and, as a result, a reduced risk of infection for farm visitors in the future.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : 20150127 FINAL REPORT OZ0716   (3316k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2011

To: 2013

Cost: £243,469
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Royal Veterinary College
Animal Health              
E.coli O157              
Plants and Animals              
Risk assessment and management              
Fields of Study
Animal Health