January 18, 2017

E. coli Research Will Continue at University of Nebraska

An E. coli research program that has led to improved detection methods and food safety education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with continue.The $25 million project is investigating Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) strains that can contaminate beef. The project began in 2011. This type of bacteria can cause serious infections, which can lead to hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) in some cases. HUS can cause kidney failure and death. The project is in its final phase. It has also improved eradication techniques for meat-packing pants and has given scientists a better understanding of how the bacteria grows and proliferates. Dr. Rodney Moxley, a professor of veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences at the University and the project director said, "the whole goal is to … [Read more...]

University of Texas Develops Oral Salmonella Vaccine

Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston have developed an oral vaccine against Salmonella bacteria. The article is published in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology. Researchers at that facility have developed potential vaccines against Salmonella Typhimurium, but that vaccine was given as an injection. An oral vaccination is much simpler to give to patients. And it uses the same pathway that the bacteria took to enter the body. Dr. Ashok Copra, UTMB professor of microbiology and immunology said, "In the current study, we analyzed the immune responses of mice that received the vaccination by mouth as well as how they responded to a lethal dose of salmonella. We found that the orally administered vaccines produced strong immunity against … [Read more...]

Antibiotic Resistant Salmonella Causes 6,200 Illnesses Every Year

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a new report on the incidence of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella infections in the United States. Every year, about 6,200 people are sickened with these strains of antibiotic bacteria, but non-resistant Salmonella bacteria cause about 1.2 million illnesses every year in this country. Salmonella infections are one of the most common types of foodborne illness in this country and around the world. The antibiotics usually used to treat these infections include ceftriaxone, ciprofloxacin, and ampicillin. Unfortunately, antibiotic resistance has been associated with these drugs. Scientists at the CDC used Bayesian hierarchical models of 2004 - 2012 date from the CDC National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System … [Read more...]

New Study Shows How Campylobacter in Chicken Causes Guillain-Barre

A new study at Michigan State University is the first to show how Campylobacter jejuni triggers Guillain-Barre Syndrome. That complication of the bacterial infection can cause paralysis. If the chicken isn't cooked to 165°F, the bacteria can survive and cause serious illness. Linda Mansfield, lead author and MSU College of Veterinary Medicine professor said, "What our work has told us is that it takes a certain genetic makeup combined with a certain Campylobacter strain to cause this disease. The concerning thing is that many of these strains are resistant to antibiotics and our work shows that treatment with some antibiotics could actually make the disease worse." GBS is the number one cause of acute neuromuscular paralysis in people. The exact mechanism of how this disease … [Read more...]

Damaged Salad Leaves Massively Stimulate Salmonella Growth

A study published this month in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, conducted at the University of Leicester, shows that juices from damaged salad leaves "massively" stimulate Salmonella growth. In fact, that lab study shows that those juices increase Salmonella growth 2,400 fold over a control group. The leached juices also increased the bacteria's ability to form a strong, wash-resistant attachment to salad leaves and they enhance the pathogen's virulence, increasing its ability to cause illness. This is all bad news for bagged salad lovers. Between 2000 and 2007 in the United States, there were 38 Salmonella outbreaks associated with leafy greens that sickened 1,409 people. Leafy greens and Salmonella as a produce-pathogen pair is the second most common risk for outbreaks. … [Read more...]

Organic Foods Not Automatically Safer Than Conventionally Grown

A study published in the Journal of Food Protection has found that while consumers think that organic foods are "safer" than conventionally grown or produced foods, the standards applied to those products do not directly address microbial or chemical safety issues. Researchers looked at the CDC's Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System in this study. They found that there have been 18 food poisoning outbreaks linked to organic foods from 1992 to 2014. Those outbreaks caused 779 illnesses, 258 hospitalizations and 3 deaths. Moreover, 56% of the outbreaks occurred from 2010 to 2014. Nine of the outbreaks were in a single state, and nine sickened people in more than one state. Salmonella bacteria caused most of the outbreaks, at 44%, and 33% of the outbreaks were caused by E … [Read more...]

Food Poisoning Increases Risk of Crohn’s Disease

A new study conducted at McMaster University confirms that people who suffer from food poisoning by a particular bacteria may be at increased risk for developing Crohn's Disease, also known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In every Salmonella outbreak over the past four years, Food Poisoning Bulletin has stated that one of the long term complications from one of these illnesses is IBD. Researchers found that infectious gastroenteritis (food poisoning) caused by a common food poisoning bacteria increases and accelerates the growth of adherent-invasive E. coli (AIEC). The scientists used a mouse model of Crohn's Disease. Even after the mouse had cleared the food poisoning bacteria from their bodies, researchers still found increased AIEC levels in the gut. In the study, the … [Read more...]

Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Found in Florida Sewage

According to the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota, antibiotic resistant bacteria has been found in Florida sewage. The bacteria was discovered in samples taken from water and sediment after a 2014 sewer-line spill that released 500,000 gallons of untreated wastewater into a St. Petersburg neighborhood. This information was published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. The bacteria, Enterococcus faecium, is resistant to vancomycin, one of the "last resort" antibiotics we have to fight serious infections. That antibiotic has not been used for years because it has toxic side effects. But since more and more antibiotics are becoming less effective against infections, it is being brought back. And that vancomycin-resistant … [Read more...]

People Work Sick, Even When They Should Stay Home

A poll of working adults conducted by National Public Radio (NPR), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of public health has found that many people work when they are sick, even when they should stay h0me. This is especially problematic in the food service industry, since sick food handlers can cause serious outbreaks that can sicken many. In addition, many working adults say that their current job adversely affects their health. And almost half of all working adults give their workplace only fair or poor ratings in efforts to reduce stress. Workers in restaurant jobs say their job has a bad impact on their stress level. In fact, 54% of restaurant workers, by far the most of any sector, say that their current job is bad for their stress level. Half of … [Read more...]

Researchers Find Sensing Mechanism in Food Poisoning Bacteria

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found a mechanism used by some types of bacteria that cause food poisoning that they use to sense when they are in the human gut, where they release the toxins that cause illness. Scientists studied Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a bacterium that grows in shellfish in saltwater during the summer months. Vibrio is one of the leading causes of food poisoning worldwide. And rising ocean temperatures because of global warming have contributed to the pathogen's growth. When people eat raw or undercooked seafood that contains the bacteria, they get sick. Dr. Kim Orth, Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at UT Southwestern and senior author of the study, said, "during recent years, rising temperatures in the ocean have contributed … [Read more...]

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