Idaho State Journal reports that Idaho State University researchers have detected Shiga toxin in six of seven cattle fecal samples that were collected from cattle feedlot and dairy operations between Twin Falls and Boise.
Shiga toxin-producing E. coli and related bacteria cause illness in approximately 73,000 Americans and cause an average of 60 deaths annually in the United States.
The specific type of bacteria most often associated with these disease outbreaks is E. coli 0157:H7, but other pathogens can be the culprit, including acinetobacter and shigella dysenteriae. Other types of bacteria, if they have the Shiga toxin gene, may or may not cause disease. Better disease screening practices may be needed for correct diagnosis.
Idaho has a higher per capita reported incidence of E. coli than other states, according to ISU researchers. This could be because Idaho tests for the infection more aggressively.