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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Human Pathogens and the Health Threat of the Phyllosphere

Author
item Brandl, Maria

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 2006
Publication Date: December 1, 2006
Citation: Brandl, M.T. 2006. Human pathogens and the health threat of the phyllosphere. . In "Microbial ecology of aerial plant surfaces". (Eds.) Bailey, M.J., A.K. Lilley, T.M. Timms-Wilson, and P.T.N. Spencer-Phillips. CAB International. Wallingford, UKBook Chapter. 269-286

Interpretive Summary: The emergence of food-borne illness outbreaks linked to the contamination of fruits and vegetables is a great concern in industrialized countries. In the US, produce was the second most common vehicle of food-borne illness in 1990-2002. A survey by the FDA revealed that 1.4% and 4% of domestic and imported produce, respectively, was contaminated with human pathogens. The current lack of control measures and effective sanitization methods prompt the need for new technologies to reduce contamination of produce. Our ability to assess the risk associated with produce contamination and to devise innovative control strategies depends on the identification of critical determinants that affect the growth and survival of human pathogens on plants. This book chapter reviews the epidemiology of food-borne illness linked to fresh fruits and vegetables, the environmental factors that are associated with preharvest microbial contamination of crops, and our current knowledge of the biology of enteric pathogens in the phyllosphere.

Technical Abstract: The emergence of food-borne illness outbreaks linked to the contamination of fruits and vegetables is a great concern in industrialized countries. In the US, produce was the second most common vehicle of food-borne illness in 1990-2002. A survey by the FDA revealed that 1.4% and 4% of domestic and imported produce, respectively, was contaminated with human pathogens. The current lack of control measures and effective sanitization methods prompt the need for new technologies to reduce contamination of produce. Our ability to assess the risk associated with produce contamination and to devise innovative control strategies depends on the identification of critical determinants that affect the growth and survival of human pathogens on plants. This book chapter reviews the epidemiology of food-borne illness linked to fresh fruits and vegetables, the environmental factors that are associated with preharvest microbial contamination of crops, and our current knowledge of the biology of enteric pathogens in the phyllosphere.

Last Modified: 7/31/2014