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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MOLECULAR CHARACTERIZATION OF PATHOGENS AND THEIR RESPONSES TO ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS

Location: Molecular Characterization of Foodborne Pathogens

Title: Emerging foodborne pathogens

Authors
item Smith, James
item Smith, James
item Paoli, George

Submitted to: Omic and Biometric Technologies for Food Safety
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: October 5, 2010
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: The emergence of new foodborne pathogens is due to a number of factors. An important factor is the globalization of the food supply with the possibility of the introduction of foodborne pathogens from other countries. Animal husbandry, food production, food processing, and food distribution systems have become large high-intensity industries that can extend through several states or even countries, and the presence of a pathogen in food can spread to a very large number of consumers. The increase in the number of immunocompromised individuals due to disease, cancer, organ and tissue transplants, and old age increases the numbers of individuals that are more susceptible to foodborne illness. Changes in eating habits such as increased willingness to try new foods and increased “eating-out”, increased international business travel, and tourism may expose individuals to foods prepared and handled in an unsanitary manner. Microorganisms evolve in response to selection by environmental factors, may cross species barriers, gain virulence factors such as genes for toxin production or may increase toxin production. Therefore the emergence of new foodborne pathogens is due to a number of factors involving humans, the environment, microorganisms, and food production. Microorganisms that have the potential to become important new foodborne pathogens include hepatitis E virus, community-associated Clostridium difficile, Arcobacter species, adult-associated Cronobacter species, Streptococcus suis, and sorbitol-fermenting Escherichia coli O157:H-.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
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