Exploitation of Facultative Metabolism in Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp

Some facultative gastrointestinal bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella, possess a respiratory nitrate reduc-tase enzyme that allows the coupling of anaerobic nitrate reduction to oxidative phosphorylation.1-10-1 This enzyme is also capable of reducing chlorate, an analogue of nitrate, to the cytotoxic product chlorite. Administration of chlorate in feed or water should therefore selectively eliminate facultative anaerobes from the gastrointestinal tract but retain many of the beneficial obligate anaerobes.

Experimental chlorate products have been shown to be effective for the control of E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella in cattle, swine, and poultry.[11-13] They are being developed primarily as preharvest interventions at terminal feedings to reduce intestinal E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella levels in livestock before slaughter, which will subsequently decrease the risk of transmission of these pathogens to consumers via meat products.

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