Ten months after the University of Nebraska-Lincoln learned of its $25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a project involving 11 institutions to study toxic bacteria in beef is underway.
Project leader Rod Moxley, a veterinarian and UNL pathologist, says a research team of 49 scientists will be studying a Shiga toxin-producing strain of E. coli. Moxely says that bacterium is different and harder to track than the strain most often reported.
It was Shiga contamination of bean sprouts that sickened thousands of people and caused dozens of deaths in Europe last year.
But the focus of Nebraska, Kansas State and other collaborators is on beef contamination, even though Moxley says there is no evidence that cattle carry the toxic strain.