Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: EXPLORING GENOMIC DIFFERENCES AND ECOLOGICAL RESERVOIRS TO CONTROL FOODBORNE PATHOGENS

Location: Meat Safety & Quality Research

Title: Salmonella virulence, genomics and interactions with the immune system

Authors
item Harhay, Dayna
item Smith, Timothy
item Harhay, Gregory
item Bono, James
item Bosilevac, Joseph

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 3, 2013
Publication Date: March 10, 2013
Citation: Harhay, D.M., Smith, T.P., Harhay, G.P., Bono, J.L., Bosilevac, J.M. 2013. Salmonella virulence, genomics and interactions with the immune system. Meeting Abstract. The Beef Industry Safety Summit, March 13-15, 2013, Dallas Texas, FLASHDRIVE.

Technical Abstract: “Every living thing has two ultimate goals—to survive and reproduce, and Salmonella is no exception,” said Harhay. “If we think about that as we try to understand this pathogen, it may help us in developing effective controls.” Harhay discussed the evolution of Salmonella to Salmonella enterica, the subspecies that is adapted to warm-blooded hosts and causes illness in humans. To achieve survival, bacteria have evolved different host attachment mechanisms. They then invade their host and find ways to manipulate the host environment to survive. “As we work to develop beef safety interventions, our goal will be to find ways to disrupt that process,” said Harhay. Past research has demonstrated differences in virulence among serotypes. Harhay iscussed results from a checkoff-funded study that examined the differences between four serotypes (S. Newport, S. Typhimurium, S. Montevideo and S. Anatum) commonly found in cattle. Interestingly, S. Montevideo and S. Anatum are frequently found in ground beef and the lymph nodes, but S. Newport and S. Typhimurium are found much less frequently. When they are found, however, they cause illness outbreaks, so we were interested in the genetic differences between the serotypes.” According to Harhay, the results challenge the assertion that all Salmonella are equally virulent to humans. Harhay cautioned the group against a “zero tolerance” mentality as it might be impossible to achieve and may be more harmful than beneficial. The focus should be primarily on the virulent strains that cause the most severe illness.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page