Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » College Station, Texas » Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center » Food and Feed Safety Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #247480

Title: Using antimicrobial cultures, bacteriocins, and bacteriophages to reduce carriage of foodborne pathogens in cattle and swine

item Callaway, Todd
item Edrington, Thomas
item Anderson, Robin
item AIELLO, CHERI - Carilion Clinic
item Byrd Ii, James - Allen
item Kogut, Michael - Mike
item Harvey, Roger
item Nisbet, David

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/15/2009
Publication Date: 1/13/2011
Citation: Callaway, T.R., Edrington, T.S., Anderson, R.C., Aiello, C.W., Byrd II, J.A., Kogut, M.H., Harvey, R.B., Nisbet, D.J. 2011. Using antimicrobial cultures, bacteriocins, and bacteriophages to reduce carriage of foodborne pathogens in cattle and swine. In: Lacroix, C., editor. Protective Cultures, Antimicrobial Metabolites and Bacteriophages for Food and Beverage Biopreservation. Philadelphia, PA: Woodhead Publishing. p. 204-224.

Interpretive Summary: Pathogenic bacteria can be found in the gut of food animals and are all too often spread to human consumers of meat products. The intestinal tract of mammals is filled with a dense, diverse microbial ecosystem. If we can devise strategies that harvest the ecological forces present in the gut to reduce or prevent colonization of the gut by pathogenic bacteria, we can reduce human foodborne illnesses. This chapter explores the use of antimicrobial cultures, such as probiotics and competitive exclusion cultures, as well as specific anti-pathogen strategies. The chapter also addresses how these strategies may work.

Technical Abstract: The intestinal microbial ecosystem is a dense and diverse population that can be utilized to reduce pathogenic bacterial populations that affect animal production efficiency and the safety of food products. Strategies that capture and utilize this complex natural resource have been developed that reduce the populations of foodborne pathogenic bacteria and eliminate pathogens that negatively impact animal production or food safety on the farm. Products used in animals to reduce pathogens in the food supply include probiotics, prebiotics, and competitive exclusion cultures, as well as bacteriocins and bacteriophage (bacterial viruses). The individual efficacy of any of these compounds is due to specific microbial ecological factors within the gut of the food animal and its native microflora that alter the competitive pressures of the gut. This review explores the ecology behind the efficacy of these products against foodborne pathogens that inhabit food animals.