Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: November 15, 2004
Publication Date: September 1, 2005
Citation: Smith, J.L., Fratamico, P.M. 2005. Look what's coming down the road: potential food borne pathogens. Book Chapter. Foodborne Pathogens: Microbiology & Molecular Biology, Caister Academic Press, Norfolk, UK Technical Abstract: There are a number of factors involved in the emergence or re-emergence of pathogens associated with food-borne illness in the United States and other developed countries. These include environmentally-related factors, such as climate changes and deforestation, food-related factors, such as changes in food production and distribution practices, consumer-related factors, such as increased international travel and changes in eating habits, and pathogen-related factors, such as genetic changes in microorganisms as a result of exposure to environmental stresses. One major factor is the increased globalization of the food supply, resulting in transfer of pathogenic agents between countries. The use of antimicrobials for prophylaxis in animals has contributed to the emergence of bacterial strains resistant to multiple antibiotics. Potential emerging food-related diseases include hepatitis caused by the hepatitis E virus, intestinal spirochetosis caused by Brachyspira pilosicoli, gnathostomiasis caused by nematodes belonging to the genus Gnathostoma, and anisakidosis caused by fish nematodes. Other potential emerging pathogens include non-gastric Helicobacter spp., Enterobacter sakazakii, non-jejuni/coli species of Campylobacter, and non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli. An increased awareness of emerging pathogens by consumers, changes in food production and handling practices from farm to table, and improvements in microbiological detection will be needed to prevent the spread of emerging food-borne diseases.