#EpiC_Friday_Shares no.7

Summer holidays mean that it has been rather quiet in the animal health media stratosphere but this does not stop Epi-Connect from sharing with you some useful publications from the last 2 weeks.

Alpine cows, Morzine, France. ©Epi-Connect
Alpine cows, Morzine, France. ©Epi-Connect

Animal health

  • Cattle are common carriers of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) which they may shed more profusively when under stress conditions. These harmful bacteria may then enter the food chain and result in hospitalisations or even deaths. A study from the US reported in Science Daily found that, by working together, researchers and farmers have been able to identify some of the factors that increase the risks of  STEC shedding in cattle, which could subsequently inform new management strategies to limit transmission.


  • The company Elanco has just released a statement discussing some of the results from their latest study on enteric health in poultry. Details of the study are not yet published (but hopefully will, if only to be able to judge their scientific merit) but it seems that an Intestinal Integrity Index (I2) score for broiler flocks can be derived based on data recorded by the Elanco’s Health Tracking System, and if acted upon, could result in financial savings for producers. It is nice to see how data-driven analysis can benefit producers’ business from a financial perspective and (but?) I look forward to a wider dissemination of the study results to the scientific community.

Other items

  • An interesting Dutch study shared on the World Poultry website discusses the health effects of living close to intensive livestock operations. People living close to such operations are exposed to higher endotoxin levels (in particular close to poultry and pig operations). An increased exposure to particules may be responsible for a small but quantifiable decrease in lung function in people living within 1km of such farms. Livestock-related MRSA bacteria were also found at higher concentrations close to livestock operations which may constitute a public health threat. But as nothing is black or white in this world, living in close proximity to animals offers some health benefits as seen by the protective effect against allergies and respiratory infections.


  • An insightful piece published by the Voice of Sustainable Pork discusses how the industry can play a role in the drive to decrease food waste at all stages of production. In the UK for example, 200,000 tons of animal material is rendered unnecessarily each year because it isn’t separated properly at the processing plant. Food waste contributes to the ever increasing pressure on global land use and natural resources (in particularly water).


  • Scientists draw eyes on cow butts to protect them from lions. Enough said…check this news item out!
(Photo: Ben Yexly/UNSW)

Thank you for dropping by, we will be back with more #EpiC_Friday_Shares in the second half of August after a well-deserved, if I say so myself 😉 , summer break.

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