Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Cost-effectiveness of farm interventions for reducing the prevalence of VTEC O157 on UK dairy farms

  • N. A. LYONS (a1), R. P. SMITH (a2) and J. RUSHTON (a1)

A randomized control trial on verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC)-infected farms found evidence that: (1) keeping animals in the same group; (2) maintaining dry bedding; (3) preventing direct contact with neighbouring cattle; and (4) maintaining a closed herd, were associated with a reduced risk of infection in youngstock aged 3–18 months. This study evaluated these interventions using a cost-effectiveness framework for UK dairy farms. Keeping animals in the same group was considered to have negligible cost and was feasible for herds containing over 77 dairy cows. Assuming equal efficacy of the remaining interventions, preventing direct contact between neighbouring cattle is most cost-effective with a median annual cost of £2.76 per cow. This compares to £4.18 for maintaining dry bedding and £17.42 for maintaining a closed herd using quarantine procedures. Further model validation and exploration of other potential benefits are required before making policy decisions on VTEC control.

Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: Mr N. A. Lyons, Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT, UK. (Email:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

1. KG Snedeker , Primary and secondary cases in Escherichia coli O157 outbreaks: a statistical analysis. BMC Infectious Diseases 2009; 9: 144.

4. TN McNeilly , Immunization of cattle with a combination of purified intimin-531, EspA and Tir significantly reduces shedding of Escherichia coli O157:H7 following oral challenge. Vaccine 2010; 28: 14221428.

5. GA Paiba , Prevalence of faecal excretion of verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli O157 in cattle in England and Wales. Veterinary Record 2003; 153: 347353.

6. J Ellis-Iversen , Identification of management risk factors for VTEC O157 in young-stock in England and Wales. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 2007; 82: 2941.

7. GJ Gunn , An investigation of factors associated with the prevalence of verocytotoxin producing Escherichia coli O157 shedding in Scottish beef cattle. Veterinary Journal 2007; 174: 554564.

8. J Ellis-Iversen , Farm practices to control E. coli O157 in young cattle – a randomised controlled trial. Veterinary Research 2008; 39: 3.

19. J Ellis-Iversen , Perceptions, circumstances and motivators that influence implementation of zoonotic control programs on cattle farms. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 2010; 93: 276285.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 2
Total number of PDF views: 16 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 90 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.