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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Food and Feed Safety Research

Project Number: 6202-32000-020-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Dec 07, 2005
End Date: Dec 06, 2010

The purpose of the proposed research is to develop and implement gastrointestinal management strategies that will reduce food-borne pathogen colonization of food-producing animals, particularly swine and cattle. Specific objectives are to: 1) Identify ecological factors impacting attachment and energy metabolism of enteropathogens within the gut and determine if the host’s hormonal status can be exploited to develop alternatives to antibiotics that can decrease the competitive fitness and thus the carriage of zoonotic and enteric pathogens in food animals; 2) determine if feeding an experimental chlorate product to food-producing animals in field situations will result in the selective killing of E. coli and Salmonella; 3) determine if administration of appropriate amounts of chlorate, competitive exclusion cultures, nitrocompounds, bacteriophage, or quorum sensing inhibitors can effectively reduce carriage of zoonotic pathogens, thereby providing producers new environmentally compatible alternatives to antibiotics; and 4) establish a quantitative model assessing risks of selective factors impacting antimicrobial resistance acquisition and persistence. Our proposed research should ultimately reduce the probability and consequences of acquiring food-borne disease or antimicrobial resistant microbes.

Basic and applied research will be conducted to elucidate and exploit physiological characteristics that may limit the attachment, competitiveness, and survivability of zoonotic pathogens so as to reduce their ability to persist within the gastrointestinal tract and environment. Research will involve both in vitro and in vivo experimentation to elucidate mechanistic aspects of pathogen virulence and colonization and to quantitatively model selective factors impacting the development, amplification, persistence, and transfer of resistance elements within and between microbial communities. Opportunities for mitigation will be validated in the field. In some cases, Cooperative Research and Development will be performed with industry partners to aide in technology transfer.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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