|Title:||Integrated Approach to the Detection and Control of Foodborne Parasites and the Impact on Food Safety|
|Objective:||Toxoplasma gondii infects 11-20% of the U.S. population, causing birth defects in exposed pregnant women, devastating disease in immunocompromised individuals, and illness and loss of vision in otherwise healthy adults. Consumption of infected pork may be a significant source of infection for consumers in the U.S. Meat derived from pasture-raised pigs is of particular concern, since prevalence in these pigs may exceed 50%. Reducing the risk of foodborne human infection from meat requires adherence to livestock production practices that prevent exposure of animals to the parasite at the farm level, and the development of new treatments which can be used in pasture-raised pigs to prevent infection.
Trichinella spiralis is a serious zoonotic pathogen with an unusually broad host and geographic range. Trichinella species infecting game animals pose a risk to humans consuming these meat products as well as a risk to domestic pigs that feed on their carcasses. Understanding the risk to pigs that have access to infected wildlife is an important component of on-farm certification efforts. In addition, the safety of meat from pasture-raised swine needs to be assessed in light of increasing consumer demand for organically-raised meat products.
Salmonella and Campylobacter are the 2 most common causes of foodborne illness in humans in the U.S. Both organisms can be carried by pigs. Infectious stages are shed in feces, which can contaminate carcasses at slaughter, meat products, and water sources, leading to human infection. Co-infection of pasture-raised pigs with these bacterial pathogens and parasitic organisms are not uncommon. Determining the impact of anthelmintic and antiprotozoal treatments in parasitized pigs on Th-1 versus Th-2 related gene expression and subsequent shifts in bacterial populations in the gut will establish whether these treatments are beneficial for reduction or elimination of bacterial pathogens in the gut.
In this project, we will: 1) evaluate the impact of different management and production practices (e.g. free range, confinement, organically-raised pigs) on the incidence of Toxoplasma and Trichinella in swine, as it relates to foodborne risk; 2) Assess the effectiveness of on-farm interventions (such as passive immunization therapy as a feed supplement) to prevent enteric Toxoplasma infection in swine, consequent foodborne risk, and potential interaction with Salmonella foodborne infections in swine; 3) Evaluate the impact of anthelmintic and antiprotozoal treatments on: parasitic foodborne infections in swine and the potential foodborne risk, and: the interaction between foodborne pathogens and foodborne parasitic infections, specifically co-infections of Toxoplasma and Trichinella with Salmonella and Campylobacter in swine, and changes in immune effectors and the swine gut microbiome following treatments.
|More Info:||The potential benefits include validated technologies that are cost effective (on farm therapies vs. individual carcass testing at slaughter), and provide required informational detail for the determination and implementation of subsequent actions (preharvest anthelmintic treatment for Trichinella; acceptance of feral swine as an indicator species). Additional anticipated products for Component 1, Problem Area 1.C include developed and validated technologies that allow uniformity of implementation both nationally and internationally (Trichinella Certification Program), consider the need for surveillance systems (feral swine surveillance), reduce on-farm transmission (immunotherapies for parasitic and bacterial pathogens), and develop new strategies for control (anthelmintic treatments which also impact the swine gut microbiome).|
|Funding Source:||United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS)|
|Institutions:||USDA/ARS - Beltsville Area Research Center|
ARS (NP 108):
A new atypical genotype mouse virulent strain of Toxoplasma gondii isolated from the heart of a wild caught puma (Felis concolor) from Durango, Mexico
Dubey JP, Alvarado-Esquivel C, Herrera-Valenzuela V, Gayosso-Dominguez E, Oliveira S, Verma S, Choudhary S, Kwok OC, Su C .
Vet Parasitol. 2013 Nov;197(3):674-7.
Pathogen exposure and blood chemistry in the Washington population of northern sea otters (Enhydra lutris kenyoni)
White L, Schuler K, Thomas N, Webb J, Saliki J, Ip H, Dubey JP, Frame E.
J Wildl Dis. 2013 Oct;49(4):887-99.
Isolation and genetic characterization of Toxoplasma gondii from mute swan (Cygnus olor) from the USA
Dubey JP, Choudhary S, Kwok OC, Ferreira LR, Oliveira S, Verma SK, Marks DR, Pedersen K, Mickley RM, Randall AR, Arsnoe D, Su C.
Vet Parasitol. 2013 Jul 1;195(1):42-6.
Prevalence of antibodies to Leishmania infantum and Toxoplasma gondii in horses from the north of Portugal
Lopes AP, Sousa S, Dubey J, Ribeiro AJ, Silvestre R, Cotovio M, Schallig HD, Cardoso L, Cordeiro-da-Silva A.
Parasit Vector. 2013 Jun 17;6:178.
|Food Safety Categories:||Food and Feed Composition and Characteristics|
On-Farm Food Safety
Government Policy and Regulations
|Farm-to-Table categories:||On-farm food production|
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