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Cargill Encouraged by Preliminary Results From Beef Cattle Vaccine Trial
Date:11/15/2010

ntrol group) cattle during the time vaccinated cattle were being harvested, which could potentially influence the significance of the data currently being analyzed by independent researchers.  Researchers are trying to better understand the meaning and value of the reduction in E.coli O157:H7 in beef from the vaccinated animals, compared with beef from those that did not receive the vaccine.  This vaccine trial was the first pre-harvest intervention trial completed that monitored activity from the time of vaccination through measurements in meat.

"The low level of E.coli O157:H7 in the beef from control cattle is something we need to take into consideration when we analyze the data to determine the vaccine's true impact and potential," explained Schaefer.  "The scientist in me tells me much more research remains to be conducted before we can draw any meaningful conclusions about the long-term efficacy of vaccine use to reduce any strain of bacteria potentially found in beef that could pose health risks to consumers."        

The $1 million 2010 trial involved the entire cattle supply from 10 feedlots being vaccinated and dedicated to Cargill for harvesting at Fort Morgan.  Of the 85,000, nearly 60,000 head of cattle received two doses of the vaccine produced by Wilmar, Minn., based Epitopix LLC, one dose upon arrival at the feedlot and one dose approximately 90 days prior to harvesting.  The remaining cattle received a single dose and served as buffers prior to and following those cycling through the feedlots that received two doses.  By providing buffers, Cargill established the scientific controls required to test the effect of whole feedlot vaccination under commercial conditions.

"The potential success of a vaccine should be viewed as another possible measure in the beef industry's food safety toolbox that better ensures a safe food supply for consumers," stated Schaefer, who ad
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SOURCE Cargill
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