Special Issue "Foodborne Pathogen Distribution, Ecology, Inactivation and Methods of Differentiation"

A special issue of Microorganisms (ISSN 2076-2607). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Microbiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ross C. Beier
Website
Guest Editor
Food and Feed Safety Research Unit, Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, College Station, TX 77845, USA
Interests: foodborne pathogens in livestock and poultry; antibody; food safety; feed safety
Dr. Steven Foley
Website
Guest Editor
Division of Microbiology, National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR), US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Jefferson, AR 72079, USA
Interests: Antimicrobial resistance; Virulence; Foodborne pathogens
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Roger B. Harvey
Website
Guest Editor
Food and Feed Safety Research Unit, Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, College Station, TX 77845, USA
Interests: pre-harvest food safety; characterize the effects of natural toxins and enteropathogens on food-producing animals; develop intervention strategies to mitigate the impact of these agents upon the food chain

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Foodborne pathogens are a major cause of diarrheal disease throughout the world. In the United States alone, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has estimated that foodborne pathogens cause 48 million people to get sick and 3000 to die from foodborne illnesses each year. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that worldwide 600 million foodborne illnesses occur each year, and the most frequent cause of foodborne illness is the diarrheal disease agents resulting in 230,000 deaths per year. Also, 40% of the foodborne illnesses were observed among children under 5 years old. Therefore, further progress in understanding these bacteria is required to help combat the foodborne diarrheal disease problem.

This Special Issue will publish work in distribution, ecology, inactivation and methods development for differentiation of foodborne pathogens. Special emphasis will be placed on studies of food animal derived foodborne pathogens such as Campylobacter, Escherichia coli O157:H7, non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, Salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus. Researchers conducting original laboratory studies as well as critical review papers are cordially invited to submit a manuscript for this Special Issue of Microorganisms.

Dr. Ross C. Beier
Dr. Steven L. Foley
Dr. Roger B. Harvey
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Microorganisms is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • foodborne pathogen
  • Campylobacter
  • Escherichia coli O157:H7
  • non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli
  • Salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus
  • food safety
  • feed safety

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Editorial for the Special Issue: Foodborne Pathogen Distribution, Ecology, Inactivation, and Methods of Differentiation
Microorganisms 2019, 7(12), 701; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7120701 - 15 Dec 2019
Abstract
Foodborne pathogens are a major cause of diarrheal disease throughout the world, and 40% of the foodborne illnesses are observed among children under the age of 5 years [...] Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Requirement of lmo1930, a Gene in the Menaquinone Biosynthesis Operon, for Esculin Hydrolysis and Lithium Chloride Tolerance in Listeria monocytogenes
Microorganisms 2019, 7(11), 539; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7110539 - 08 Nov 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen that is widely distributed in nature, having been isolated from a variety of sources such as soil, water, plant matter, and animals. In addition, L. monocytogenes is often detected in the regular sampling of food and food [...] Read more.
Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen that is widely distributed in nature, having been isolated from a variety of sources such as soil, water, plant matter, and animals. In addition, L. monocytogenes is often detected in the regular sampling of food and food processing environments. The most common method for detecting L. monocytogenes is the use of selective enrichments. Both lithium chloride and esculin, in combination with ferric ammonium citrate, are utilized in several of the most commonly-employed selective enrichment schemes for L. monocytogenes. Here we report that transposon-based inactivation of lmo1930, one of the genes in the menaquinone biosynthesis operon, via transposon mutagenesis severely impaired the ability of L. monocytogenes to grow in the presence of lithium chloride or hydrolyze esculin, and conferred reduced growth and colony size. All phenotypes were restored upon genetic complementation. Thus, strains of L. monocytogenes with mutations leading to inactivation of lmo1930 may evade many commonly-used selective enrichment protocols employed in the detection of L. monocytogenes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental In-Field Transfer and Survival of Escherichia coli from Animal Feces to Romaine Lettuce in Salinas Valley, California
Microorganisms 2019, 7(10), 408; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7100408 - 29 Sep 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
This randomized controlled trial characterized the transfer of E. coli from animal feces and/or furrow water onto adjacent heads of lettuce during foliar irrigation, and the subsequent survival of bacteria on the adaxial surface of lettuce leaves. Two experiments were conducted in Salinas [...] Read more.
This randomized controlled trial characterized the transfer of E. coli from animal feces and/or furrow water onto adjacent heads of lettuce during foliar irrigation, and the subsequent survival of bacteria on the adaxial surface of lettuce leaves. Two experiments were conducted in Salinas Valley, California: (1) to quantify the transfer of indicator E. coli from chicken and rabbit fecal deposits placed in furrows to surrounding lettuce heads on raised beds, and (2) to quantify the survival of inoculated E. coli on Romaine lettuce over 10 days. E. coli was recovered from 97% (174/180) of lettuce heads to a maximal distance of 162.56 cm (5.33 ft) from feces. Distance from sprinklers to feces, cumulative foliar irrigation, and lettuce being located downwind of the fecal deposit were positively associated, while distance from fecal deposit to lettuce was negatively associated with E. coli transference. E. coli exhibited decimal reduction times of 2.2 and 2.5 days when applied on the adaxial surface of leaves within a chicken or rabbit fecal slurry, respectively. Foliar irrigation can transfer E. coli from feces located in a furrow onto adjacent heads of lettuce, likely due to the kinetic energy of irrigation droplets impacting the fecal surface and/or impacting furrow water contaminated with feces, with the magnitude of E. coli enumerated per head of lettuce influenced by the distance between lettuce and the fecal deposit, cumulative application of foliar irrigation, wind aspect of lettuce relative to feces, and time since final irrigation. Extending the time period between foliar irrigation and harvest, along with a 152.4 cm (5 ft) no-harvest buffer zone when animal fecal material is present, may substantially reduce the level of bacterial contamination on harvested lettuce. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Genomic Sequence Analysis of the Multidrug-Resistance Region of Avian Salmonella enterica serovar Indiana Strain MHYL
Microorganisms 2019, 7(8), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7080248 - 09 Aug 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
A series of human and animal diseases that are caused by Salmonella infections pose a serious threat to human health and huge economic losses to the livestock industry. We found antibiotic resistance (AR) genes in the genome of 133 strains of S. Indiana [...] Read more.
A series of human and animal diseases that are caused by Salmonella infections pose a serious threat to human health and huge economic losses to the livestock industry. We found antibiotic resistance (AR) genes in the genome of 133 strains of S. Indiana from a poultry production site in Shandong Province, China. Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Indiana strain MHYL had multidrug-resistance (MDR) genes on its genome. Southern blot analysis was used to locate genes on the genomic DNA. High-throughput sequencing technology was used to determine the gene sequence of the MHYL genome. Areas containing MDR genes were mapped based on the results of gene annotation. The AR genes blaTEM, strA, tetA, and aac(6′)-Ib-cr were found on the MHYL genome. The resistance genes were located in two separate MDR regions, RR1 and RR2, containing type I integrons, and Tn7 transposons and multiple IS26 complex transposons with transposable functions. Portions of the MDR regions were determined to be highly homologous to the structure of plasmid pAKU_1 in S. enterica serovar Paratyphi A (accession number: AM412236), SGI11 in S. enterica serovar Typhimurium (accession number: KM023773), and plasmid pS414 in S. Indiana (accession No.: KC237285). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Contrast of Real-Time Fluorescent PCR Methods for Detection of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and of Introducing an Internal Amplification Control
Microorganisms 2019, 7(8), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7080230 - 31 Jul 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Various constituents in food specimens can inhibit the PCR assay and lead to false-negative results. An internal amplification control was employed to monitor the presence of false-negative results in PCR amplification. In this study, the objectives were to compare the real-time PCR-based method [...] Read more.
Various constituents in food specimens can inhibit the PCR assay and lead to false-negative results. An internal amplification control was employed to monitor the presence of false-negative results in PCR amplification. In this study, the objectives were to compare the real-time PCR-based method by introducing a competitive internal amplification control (IAC) for the detection of Escherichia O157:H7 with respect to the specificity of the primers and probes, analytical sensitivity, and detection limits of contamination-simulated drinking water. Additionally, we optimized the real-time fluorescent PCR detection system for E. coli O157:H7. The specificity of primers and probes designed for the rfbE gene was evaluated using four kinds of bacterial strains, including E. coli O157:H7, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes strains. The real time PCR assay unambiguously distinguished the E. coli O157:H7 strains after 16 cycles. Simultaneously, the lowest detection limit for E. coli O157:H7 in water samples introducing the IAC was 104 CFU/mL. The analytical sensitivity in water samples had no influence on the detection limit compared with that of pure cultures. The inclusion of an internal amplification control in the real-time PCR assay presented a positive IAC amplification signal in artificially simulated water samples. These results indicated that real-time fluorescent PCR combined with the IAC possessed good characteristics of stability, sensitivity, and specificity. Consequently, the adjusted methods have the potential to support the fast and sensitive detection of E. coli O157:H7, enabling accurate quantification and preventing false negative results in E. coli O157:H7 contaminated samples. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Inhibition and Interactions of Campylobacter jejuni from Broiler Chicken Houses with Organic Acids
Microorganisms 2019, 7(8), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7080223 - 30 Jul 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Campylobacter jejuni is a bacterium that causes major diarrheal disease worldwide and is also one of the top five foodborne pathogens encountered in the United States. Poultry is a major source of C. jejuni, and a high-risk factor for contracting campylobacteriosis. Organic [...] Read more.
Campylobacter jejuni is a bacterium that causes major diarrheal disease worldwide and is also one of the top five foodborne pathogens encountered in the United States. Poultry is a major source of C. jejuni, and a high-risk factor for contracting campylobacteriosis. Organic acids are used in the United States during food animal processing for removal of bacterial contamination from animal carcasses. Six organic acids were evaluated in inhibition studies of 96 C. jejuni strains obtained from shoe covers used in broiler chicken houses at different poultry farms in several states by determining the susceptibilities of the C. jejuni strains, along with the pH values at the molar minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICMs). The undissociated and dissociated organic acid concentrations were calculated at the MICMs with the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation. The results for the 96 C. jejuni strains were treated similarly for each different organic acid. Campylobacter jejuni inhibition did correlate with the dissociated organic acids, but did not correlate with pH or with the undissociated organic acids. When the concentrations of dissociated organic acids decreased, the C. jejuni strains were not disinfected. A carcass wash using organic acids should have the concentration of dissociated acid species carefully controlled. It is suggested to maintain a dissociated acid concentration for propionic, l-lactic, formic, citric, butyric, and acetic acids at 24, 40, 36, 21, 23, and 25 mM, respectively, and at these dissociated organic acid levels an acid wash would be expected to remove or inhibit 97% or more of the C. jejuni bacteria studied here. However, studies must be undertaken to confirm that the suggested concentrations of dissociated organic acids are adequate to remove C. jejuni bacteria in the field vs. the laboratory. Due to propionate, l-lactate, formate, butyrate, and acetate being utilized by C. jejuni, these organic acids may not be appropriate for use as a carcass wash to remove C. jejuni surface contamination. Of all tested organic acids, dissociated citric acid was the most efficient at inhibiting C. jejuni. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Short Communication: Preliminary Differences Identified in Genes Responsible for Biofilm Formation in Poultry Isolates of Salmonella enterica Heidelberg, Enteritidis, and Kentucky
Microorganisms 2019, 7(7), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7070196 - 09 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Salmonella enterica is one of the most prevalent foodborne pathogens. The large quantity of serovar types results in the colonization of a large spectrum of hosts, with different environmental conditions and hazards. The aim of this study was to evaluate the differences in [...] Read more.
Salmonella enterica is one of the most prevalent foodborne pathogens. The large quantity of serovar types results in the colonization of a large spectrum of hosts, with different environmental conditions and hazards. The aim of this study was to evaluate the differences in gene expression (bcsA and csgD) of Salmonella enterica serovars Heidelberg, Kentucky, and Enteritidis during biofilm formation using quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Overall, there appeared to be differences in expression between the different serovars with high variation between strains. These data are important as they demonstrate considerable variability in gene expression between serovars and strains of poultry isolates of Salmonella enterica. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Establishment of Listeria monocytogenes in the Gastrointestinal Tract
Microorganisms 2019, 7(3), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7030075 - 10 Mar 2019
Cited by 14
Abstract
Listeria monocytogenes is a Gram positive foodborne pathogen that can colonize the gastrointestinal tract of a number of hosts, including humans. These environments contain numerous stressors such as bile, low oxygen and acidic pH, which may impact the level of colonization and persistence [...] Read more.
Listeria monocytogenes is a Gram positive foodborne pathogen that can colonize the gastrointestinal tract of a number of hosts, including humans. These environments contain numerous stressors such as bile, low oxygen and acidic pH, which may impact the level of colonization and persistence of this organism within the GI tract. The ability of L. monocytogenes to establish infections and colonize the gastrointestinal tract is directly related to its ability to overcome these stressors, which is mediated by the efficient expression of several stress response mechanisms during its passage. This review will focus upon how and when this occurs and how this impacts the outcome of foodborne disease. Full article
Open AccessReview
Modulation of the Immune Response to Improve Health and Reduce Foodborne Pathogens in Poultry
Microorganisms 2019, 7(3), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7030065 - 28 Feb 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
Salmonella and Campylobacter are the two leading causes of bacterial-induced foodborne illness in the US. Food production animals including cattle, swine, and chickens are transmission sources for both pathogens. The number of Salmonella outbreaks attributed to poultry has decreased. However, the same cannot [...] Read more.
Salmonella and Campylobacter are the two leading causes of bacterial-induced foodborne illness in the US. Food production animals including cattle, swine, and chickens are transmission sources for both pathogens. The number of Salmonella outbreaks attributed to poultry has decreased. However, the same cannot be said for Campylobacter where 50–70% of human cases result from poultry products. The poultry industry selects heavily on performance traits which adversely affects immune competence. Despite increasing demand for poultry, regulations and public outcry resulted in the ban of antibiotic growth promoters, pressuring the industry to find alternatives to manage flock health. One approach is to incorporate a program that naturally enhances/modulates the bird’s immune response. Immunomodulation of the immune system can be achieved using a targeted dietary supplementation and/or feed additive to alter immune function. Science-based modulation of the immune system targets ways to reduce inflammation, boost a weakened response, manage gut health, and provide an alternative approach to prevent disease and control foodborne pathogens when conventional methods are not efficacious or not available. The role of immunomodulation is just one aspect of an integrated, coordinated approach to produce healthy birds that are also safe and wholesome products for consumers. Full article
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Other

Open AccessTechnical Note
Improved Positive Predictive Performance of Listeria Indicator Broth: A Sensitive Environmental Screening Test to Identify Presumptively Positive Swab Samples
Microorganisms 2019, 7(5), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7050151 - 27 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
PDX-LIB, Listeria Indicator Broth, was developed as a proprietary sensitive screening test to identify presumptively positive environmental swab samples for Listeria sp. The original formulation, while sensitive, initially proved to exhibit acceptable levels of false positive test results. Paradigm Diagnostics has been undertaken [...] Read more.
PDX-LIB, Listeria Indicator Broth, was developed as a proprietary sensitive screening test to identify presumptively positive environmental swab samples for Listeria sp. The original formulation, while sensitive, initially proved to exhibit acceptable levels of false positive test results. Paradigm Diagnostics has been undertaken to modify the medium formulation to render it more selective while not sacrificing its sensitivity. After identification of a candidate formulation through laboratory studies, a field trial was conducted to validate the test performance parameters, including the true positive frequency and false positive frequency in several different food-processing facilities. Identical swab samples were enriched in both the original medium formulation and the new formulation. Presumptive positive samples were confirmed by plating on selective differential agar and qPCR analysis. The field trial data demonstrate that the new formulation significantly reduces the frequency of false positive samples compared to the original Listeria Indicator Broth formulation, without compromising the sensitivity of the original formulation. The new medium formulation resulted in no false positive samples compared to the 54% increased presumptive positive samples obtained with the original medium formulation. Full article
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