Special Issue "Advances on Control of Foodborne Pathogens: From Conventional to Cutting-Edge Approaches"

A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 March 2021) | Viewed by 6122

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Joana Mourão
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Auxiliary Researcher at the Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: antibiotic resistance; metals and biocide tolerance; food safety; food microbiology; foodborne bacterial pathogens; bacterial epidemiology; microbiology; mobile genetic elements and genome evolution among Enterobacteriaceae; typing; bioinformatics; biostatistics; computational biology; data science; data mining; cutting-edge high-throughput methodologies; machine learning
Dr. Patrícia Antunes
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
1. Faculty of Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of Porto. Porto, Portugal
2. UCIBIO-Applied Molecular Biosciences Unit, Laboratory of Microbiology, Department of Biological Sciences, REQUIMTE Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto. Porto, Portugal.
Interests: antimicrobial resistance (antibiotics and biocides/metals) and foodborne diseases, salmonella and other enterobacteriaceae at the environment-animal-food-human interface, one health approach
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Foodborne diseases are described as a serious threat to public health and a global burden worldwide. Each year, the ingestion of contaminated food and food products is estimated to be responsible for 600 million cases and 420,000 deaths, with 30% of them occurring among children under five years of age, according to data from WHO-2010. Norovirus, Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli are among the most common foodborne pathogens that affect millions of people annually, and Listeria monocytogenes an emerging hazard for people of risk groups. Control of foodborne pathogens is an active step in all stages of the food production chain, from primary production on-farm to the early stages of the production line (e.g., slaughter operations, equipment and meat handlers, retail meat) until the final distribution and consumption (e.g., food service). The control of foodborne pathogens is mainly due to the implementation of conventional measures such as surveillance, biosecurity (e.g., sanitation, disinfection, pest control, vaccination), feed and water additives (e.g., metals, organic acids, essential oils, probiotics) as well as preventive food safety management systems (good manufacturing practice—GMP, good hygienic practice—GHP, good agricultural practice—GAP, HACCP). Despite that, progress to develop effective control strategies has been slow and hampered by the adaptation of clinically-relevant foodborne pathogens to different environmental stresses (e.g., antimicrobial resistance, metals, biocides, or acid tolerance, enhanced colonization/virulence, biofilm formation). It is of utmost importance to understand the pathogen adaptive factors that may be contributing to their unsuccessful control, in order to develop faster and more effective strategies to limit persistence and spread of foodborne pathogens throughout the food chain.

The propose of this Special Issue is to provide a state-of-the-art repertoire of publications focusing on the efficacy of conventional or innovative/cutting-edge approaches for control of foodborne pathogens as well as novel high-throughput methodologies and computational tools for the fast characterization and identification of adaptive microbial factors. This issue will also place an emphasis on the understanding of microbial and environmental factors that can challenge and hinder the effectiveness of control measures. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Conventional and innovative control measures for control of foodborne pathogens;
  • Foodborne microbial pathogens response to conventional control measures;
  • Novel high-throughput methodologies and computational tools with potential for a fast identification of adaptive microbial factors;
  • Characterization of microbial and environmental factors that can hamper the control of foodborne pathogens.

Thus, it is our pleasure to invite authors to contribute to this Special Issue with original research, communications, short notes or review articles.

Dr. Joana Mourão
Prof. Dr. Patrícia Antunes
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Pathogens 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 2200 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 pathogens
  • food safety
  • norovirus
  • Campylobacter
  • Salmonella
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Shiga toxin-producing E. coli
  • surveillance
  • food microbiology
  • genomics
  • proteomics
  • metabolomics
  • virulence
  • biofilm formation
  • microbial adaptation
  • antibiotic resistance
  • metals and biocides tolerance
  • disinfectants
  • acid tolerance
  • vaccination
  • hygiene
  • food poisoning
  • foodborne illness
  • zoonoses
  • epidemiology
  • control measures
  • food safety

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Salmonella Infection in Nursery Piglets and Its Role in the Spread of Salmonellosis to Further Production Periods
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020123 - 25 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 971
Abstract
Few studies have focused on assessing Salmonella infection in the nursery and its role in further pig production periods. Mesenteric lymph nodes, intestinal content, and meat juice from 389 6-week-old male piglets intended for human consumption from five breeding farms and 191 pooled [...] Read more.
Few studies have focused on assessing Salmonella infection in the nursery and its role in further pig production periods. Mesenteric lymph nodes, intestinal content, and meat juice from 389 6-week-old male piglets intended for human consumption from five breeding farms and 191 pooled floor fecal samples from gilt development units (GDU) from the same farms were analyzed to estimate and characterize (by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and antimicrobial resistance analyses) Salmonella infection. The prevalence of infection and shedding among piglets was 36.5% and 37.3%, respectively, shedding being significantly associated with infection (Odds Ratio = 12.7; CI 7.3–22.0). Salmonella Rissen; S. 4,[5],12:i:-; and S. Derby were the most common serotypes. A low level of Salmonella-specific maternal antibodies at the beginning of the nursery period suggested it was a period of high risk of infection. Resistance to 3rd- and 4th-generation cephalosporins was detected in piglet isolates although the piglets never received antibiotics, indicating they could be vectors of antimicrobial resistance. The same Salmonella clones were detected in piglet and GDU isolates, suggesting that infected piglets play a significant role in the infection of gilts and consequently of finishing pigs in the case of production farms. The control of Salmonella infection in nursery piglets may decrease the risk of abattoir and carcass contamination. Full article
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Article
Genetic Diversity and Distribution of Virulence-Associated Genes in Y. enterocolitica and Y. enterocolitica-Like Isolates from Humans and Animals in Poland
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10010065 - 13 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1027
Abstract
Yersinia enterocolitica, widespread within domestic and wild-living animals, is a foodborne pathogen causing yersiniosis. The goal of this study was to assess a genetic similarity of Y. enterocolitica and Y. enterocolitica-like strains isolated from different hosts using Multiple Locus Variable-Number Tandem Repeat [...] Read more.
Yersinia enterocolitica, widespread within domestic and wild-living animals, is a foodborne pathogen causing yersiniosis. The goal of this study was to assess a genetic similarity of Y. enterocolitica and Y. enterocolitica-like strains isolated from different hosts using Multiple Locus Variable-Number Tandem Repeat Analysis (MLVA) and Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) methods, and analyze the prevalence of virulence genes using multiplex-Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) assays. Among 51 Yersinia sp. strains 20 virulotypes were determined. The most common virulence genes were ymoA, ureC, inv, myfA, and yst. Yersinia sp. strains had genes which may contribute to the bacterial invasion and colonization of the intestines as well as survival in serum. One wild boar Y. enterocolitica 1A strain possessed ail gene implying the possible pathogenicity of 1A biotype. Wild boar strains, represented mainly by 1A biotype, were not classified into the predominant Variable-Number Tandem Repeats (VNTR)/PFGE profile and virulotype. There was a clustering tendency among VNTR/PFGE profiles of pig origin, 4/O:3, and virulence profile. Pig and human strains formed the most related group, characterized by ~80% of genetic similarity what suggest the role of pigs as a potential source of infection for the pork consumers. Full article
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Article
Atypical Non-H2S-Producing Monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium ST3478 Strains from Chicken Meat at Processing Stage Are Adapted to Diverse Stresses
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 701; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090701 - 26 Aug 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1725
Abstract
Poultry products are still an important cause of Salmonella infections worldwide, with an increasingly reported expansion of less-frequent serotypes or atypical strains that are frequently multidrug-resistant. Nevertheless, the ability of Salmonella to survive antimicrobials promoted in the context of antibiotic reducing/replacing and farming [...] Read more.
Poultry products are still an important cause of Salmonella infections worldwide, with an increasingly reported expansion of less-frequent serotypes or atypical strains that are frequently multidrug-resistant. Nevertheless, the ability of Salmonella to survive antimicrobials promoted in the context of antibiotic reducing/replacing and farming rethinking (e.g., organic acids and copper in feed/biocides) has been scarcely explored. We investigated Salmonella occurrence (conventional and molecular assays) among chicken meat at the processing stage (n = 53 batches/29 farms) and characterized their tolerance to diverse stress factors (antibiotics, copper, acid pH, and peracetic acid). Whole-genome sequencing was used to assess adaptive features and to perform comparative analysis. We found a low Salmonella occurrence (4%) and identified S. Enteritidis/ST11 plus atypical non-H2S-producing S. 1,4,[5],12:i:-/ST3478. The ST3478 presented the ability to grow under diverse stresses (antibiotics, copper, and acid-pH). Comparative genomics among ST3478 isolates showed similar antibiotic/metal resistance gene repertoires and identical nonsense phsA thiosulfate reductase mutations (related to H2S-negative phenotype), besides their close phylogenetic relationship by cgMLST and SNPs. This study alerts for the ongoing national and international spread of an emerging monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium clonal lineage with an enlarged ability to survive to antimicrobials/biocides commonly used in poultry production, being unnoticed by conventional Salmonella detection approaches due to an atypical non-H2S-producing phenotype. Full article
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Article
Listeria monocytogenes Wall Teichoic Acid Glycosylation Promotes Surface Anchoring of Virulence Factors, Resistance to Antimicrobial Peptides, and Decreased Susceptibility to Antibiotics
Pathogens 2020, 9(4), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9040290 - 16 Apr 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1870
Abstract
The cell wall of Listeria monocytogenes (Lm), a major intracellular foodborne bacterial pathogen, comprises a thick peptidoglycan layer that serves as a scaffold for glycopolymers such as wall teichoic acids (WTAs). WTAs contain non-essential sugar substituents whose absence prevents bacteriophage [...] Read more.
The cell wall of Listeria monocytogenes (Lm), a major intracellular foodborne bacterial pathogen, comprises a thick peptidoglycan layer that serves as a scaffold for glycopolymers such as wall teichoic acids (WTAs). WTAs contain non-essential sugar substituents whose absence prevents bacteriophage binding and impacts antigenicity, sensitivity to antimicrobials, and virulence. Here, we demonstrated, for the first time, the triple function of Lm WTA glycosylations in the following: (1) supporting the correct anchoring of major Lm virulence factors at the bacterial surface, namely Ami and InlB; (2) promoting Lm resistance to antimicrobial peptides (AMPs); and (3) decreasing Lm sensitivity to some antibiotics. We showed that while the decoration of WTAs by rhamnose in Lm serovar 1/2a and by galactose in serovar 4b are important for the surface anchoring of Ami and InlB, N-acetylglucosamine in serovar 1/2a and glucose in serovar 4b are dispensable for the surface association of InlB or InlB/Ami. We found that the absence of a single glycosylation only had a slight impact on the sensibility of Lm to AMPs and antibiotics, however the concomitant deficiency of both glycosylations (rhamnose and N-acetylglucosamine in serovar 1/2a, and galactose and glucose in serovar 4b) significantly impaired the Lm capacity to overcome the action of antimicrobials. We propose WTA glycosylation as a broad mechanism used by Lm, not only to properly anchor surface virulence factors, but also to resist AMPs and antibiotics. WTA glycosyltransferases thus emerge as promising drug targets to attenuate the virulence of bacterial pathogens, while increasing their susceptibility to host immune defenses and potentiating the action of antibiotics. Full article
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