LETHBRIDGE: The first of nine projects to receive funding under Genome Alberta's-Alberta Livestock Genomics Program is based in Lethbridge.
Researchers at the University of Lethbridge and the Research Station will be working to find ways of quickly and easily identifying cattle spreading a certain strain of E-coli known as O157:H7 so the animals can be removed from the herd and treated.
U-of-L Researcher Doctor Brent Selinger will work with Doctor Tim McAllister at the Research Station.
Selinger commented that the bacteria can be very harmful to humans if it's not killed when the meat is cooked. He noted that the most prominent case of the bacteria was in Walkerton Ontario, when tainted water in 2000 made numerous residents sick and seven people died as a result.
He did add that E-coli isn't a major problem, but that if they can come up with a way to reduce the risk even more, then it's worth investigating.
Selinger noted that at the moment, the only way to find out if an animal has the O157:H7 E-coli and is likely to spread it is by testing the feces, a process that is very time consuming.