Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Lab
2009 Beltsville Area Celebration of Excellence
Winners of the 2009 Beltsville Area Awards were formally recognized at the 2009 Beltsville Area Celebration of Excellence held on September 23, 2009. Manan Sharma was recognized with the 2009 Beltsville Area Award for Early Career Scientist for developing innovative methods for detecting internalization of pathogens into leafy greens.
Research focuses on the survival, persistence and growth of the bacterial foodborne pathogen Escherichia coli O157:H7 in leafy green pre-harvest environments. E. coli O157:H7 has been associated with several high profile outbreaks associated with lettuce, spinach and other leafy greens. This work examines the ability of E. coli to internalize to spinach tissues through root uptake. His research team also examines the ability of E. coli O157:H7 to persist in pre-harvest environments (soil, water). The expression of virulence factors of E. coli O157:H7 on leafy greens stored under various conditions is also evaluated. Bacteriophages, viruses that target and kill E. coli O157:H7, are also being examined as a potential intervention against E. coli O157:H7 on leafy greens.
USDA-ARS Environmental Microbial and Food Safety Laboratory