Lately my blog seems to have turned into an “all Salmonella – all Peanuts – all the time.” In any event, there is other news, and perhaps it is good news – at least in the fight against E. coli O157:H7.

A few days ago, Epitopix received a USDA conditional license for America’s first E. coli O157:H7 vaccine for cattle according to a company press release. “The new vaccine is labeled for use in cattle to reduce the prevalence of the E. coli O157 carrier state and for reduction in the amount of E. coli O157 shed in feces to minimize E. coli exposure and infection of herd-mates."

In a dueling press release, Bioniche Life Sciences “announced that the results of a large-scale commercial beef feedlot study with the Company’s E. coli O157 vaccine – Econiche(TM) – have been published in this month’s issue of Foodborne Pathogens and Disease (Vol. 6, Number 2, 2009), a peer-reviewed scientific journal. The article, entitled, "A Two-Dose Regimen of a Vaccine Against Type III Secreted Proteins Reduced Escherichia coli O157:H7 Colonization of the Terminal Rectum in Beef Cattle in Commercial Feedlots", was co-authored by David R. Smith, Rodney A. Moxley, Robert E. Peterson, Terry J. Klopfenstein, Galen E. Erickson, Gustavo Bretschneider, Emil M. Berberov, and Sharon Clowser….The researchers concluded that the two-dose vaccine regimen effectively reduced the probability for E. coli O157:H7 colonization of the TRM of commercially fed cattle at harvest."

“Dueling vaccines?” Should we have a “vaccine off?” Or, perhaps we should also look at how we raise and slaughter our cattle? Perhaps massively raised and massively slaughtered food needs to be looked at as a symptom of a illness in addition to giving it a shot?  The vaccine, as they say, is another tool in the food safety tool box.