Pfizer Animal Health has announced the availability of E. coli Bacterial Extract vaccine with SRP technology. Pfizer says it is the first vaccine demonstrated to reduce E. coli O157 shedding and prevalence at the source — inside the cattle.

“The beef industry has made significant strides in reducing foodborne pathogens, such as E. coli O157, but it continues to be a significant concern among consumers,” says Dale Grotelueschen, DVM, MS, Managing Veterinarian, Pfizer Animal Health Veterinary Operations. “Even though E. coli O157 doesn’t make cattle sick, human outbreaks can present challenges to the reputation of the industry overall. This innovative vaccine can help address E. coli O157 at the source, in the animals themselves.”

E. Coli Bacterial Extract vaccine with SRP technology is an effective management tool to reduce the prevalence and shedding of E. coli O157 without any production setbacks, Pfizer says. Data from a recently published study indicated that vaccination at the feedlot reduced E. coli O157 contamination among cattle by 85 percent. Of those cattle still positive for E. coli O157, there was a 98 percent reduction in total remaining pathogen load.

E. coli is an economically devastating problem that has resulted in billions of dollars in lost demand and costs associated with recalls. The beef industry spends more than $350 million annually on improving beef safety, and much of this effort goes toward E. coli O157.

Still, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 70,000 people are infected with E. coli O157 each year with many more cases of illness going unreported.

“The SRP technology in the conditionally licensed E. Coli Bacterial Extract vaccine uses the iron-gathering mechanism common to all E. coli strains to control the prevalence of the bacteria in vaccinated cattle by harnessing the animals’ immune system,” Grotelueschen says. “This is the first vaccine of its kind for E. coli O157 and an exciting new opportunity for the beef industry.”

E. Coli Bacterial Extract vaccine with SRP technology is manufactured by Epitopix LLC. Pfizer Animal Health acquired global rights to the vaccine earlier this year and is the exclusive distributor. For more information, producers should contact their Pfizer Animal Health representative or their veterinarian.