E. coli O157 in rural communities

Molecule bacteria lab cattle and landscape


Objectives and Deliverables

The key objectives of our RELU proposal are to:

•  Provide an understanding of the awareness, attitudes and behaviour of different stakeholder groups towards E. coli O157 risk in the environment.

•  Ascertain and evaluate the persistence and asymptomatic carriage of E. coli O157 within the rural community.

•  Ascertain the physiological state of E. coli O157 in agricultural environments (i.e. does it enter a viable-but-not-cultureable state after release from the host) and to determine the degree to which E. coli O157 released into the plant-soil and water environment is capable of (re)infecting cattle and humans.

•  Formulate an initial suite of intervention and mitigation strategies to better manage E. coli O157 risk in rural areas.

•  Determine the economic cost and social acceptability of initial risk management strategies amongst stakeholder groups.

•  Produce a UK risk assessment map and policy-relevant strategies for the most viable management options for E. coli O157 amongst rural stakeholder groups.

The key deliverables of our RELU proposal are:

•  Using integrated quantitative and qualitative data-gathering methods, provide an understanding of the knowledge-forming, attitudinal, and behavioural processes in key stakeholders to formulate a policy-relevant intervention strategy

•  Provide critical data on persistence, transmission and infectivity of E. coli O157 in the rural environment for predictive modelling across the agroclimatic and edaphic ranges of the UK.

•  Construct reliable risk assessment models and maps, incorporating social and economic and scientific evidence to underpin policy intervention and management options for the minimisation of transfer of E. coli O157 to rural stakeholders and communities.