Neogen Corporation's GeneSeek subsidiary is a participant in U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded research that seeks to better understand the role cattle genetics may play in food contamination by the pathogen E. coli O157:H7.

Researchers have shown that while some cows have no E. coli O157:H7 in their systems, others present a greater risk for beef contamination by shedding higher concentrations of the pathogen in their feces. The existence of the pathogen does not cause illness in cattle, but E. coli O157:H7 is a significant cause of foodborne illness in humans. 

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The research is being conducted by University of Nebraska-Lincoln scientists, in partnership with the USDA’s Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Neb., and GeneSeek. GeneSeek will perform genotyping on the cattle genetic samples.