Location: Meat Safety and Quality
Project Number: 3040-32000-035-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated
Start Date: Jan 19, 2021
End Date: Jan 18, 2026
Objective 1: Determine ecological and environmental factors associated with the levels and persistence of pathogens and antibiotic resistance in the host animal and transmission in the livestock production environment. Sub-objective 1.A: Determining sources and transmission of pathogens and antibiotic resistance in preharvest beef production environments. Sub-objective 1.B: Determining the development of AMR in commensal and pathogenic bacteria and their transmission in feedlot cattle and production systems. Sub-objective 1.C: Determining the impact of intestinal microbiome development on the longitudinal colonization and shedding of foodborne pathogens and antibiotic resistance in swine. Objective 2: Develop and evaluate intervention strategies that reduce or eliminate the occurrence, transmission, or persistence of foodborne pathogens in cattle, swine, their production systems, and the environment. Sub-objective 2.A: Evaluating the potential for dietary supplements to reduce pathogen and antibiotic resistance shedding in beef cattle feces and into the environment. Sub-objective 2.B: Identification of alternatives to antibiotics for use in nursery swine to reduce pathogens and AMR bacteria.
The overall goal of this project is to reduce the risk of foodborne illness, by providing information that can be used to reduce transmission of zoonotic pathogens and antibiotic resistance from cattle and swine production to food, water, and the environment. Cattle and swine remain important reservoirs for foodborne pathogen and antibiotic resistance, increasing the potential for transmission of foodborne pathogens to humans. Primary targets of the work include Escherichia coli O157:H7 and other Shiga-toxigenic E. coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter, and antibiotic resistant bacteria. Specific objectives are to (1) Determine ecological and environmental factors associated with the levels and persistence of pathogens and antibiotic resistance in the host animal and transmission in livestock production environments; and (2) Develop and evaluate intervention strategies that reduce or eliminate the occurrence, transmission, or persistence of foodborne pathogens in cattle, swine, their production systems, and the environment. Understanding the potential sources and transmission dynamics of pathogens in production environments is critical for identifying strategies to reduce their introduction and dissemination. Systems approaches examining multiple pathways and sample types will be used to identify the most important sources and transmission routes of pathogens and antibiotic resistance, using the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) preharvest beef and swine production environments. Moreover, research will determine how antibiotic use in cattle and swine affects pathogens and the development of antibiotic resistance in animals and their production environment. Research will also be conducted to identify alternatives to antibiotic use in cattle and swine. Expected outcomes are scientific information and management strategies that can be used to reduce foodborne pathogens and antibiotic resistance in livestock production, thus contributing to a safer food and water supply and a lower risk of human foodborne illness. These outcomes will benefit U.S. agriculture and numerous stakeholders, including livestock producers, animal harvest and meat processing industries, regulatory agencies, and consumers.