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UW-Madison Food Research Institute

Emerging pathogens

Focus on emerging pathogens and foodborne or waterborne diseases


The FRI Food Safety Reviews are summaries of current scientific literature, focusing on special topics of current interest. These reviews replace the extensive annual food safety literature survey formerly published by FRI, and now number more than 30 since inception of the Briefings in 1996.


Jan 2013 Clostridium difficile as a Risk Associated with Animal Sources

"C. difficile, a common cause of diarrhea in healthcare settings, has become more prominent in the community as more virulent strains emerge. This paper reviews data on epidemiology of C. difficile, including the potential for foodborne transmission. " PDF document Read the full text

Feb 2012 Helicobacter spp. — Food- or Waterborne Pathogens?

"Although H. pylori is a known cause of ulcers and gastric cancer, it resides in the gastrointestinal tract of about half the world's population who are usually asymptomatic. Some other Helicobacter species infect mammals, birds and reptiles. Transmission of H. pylori is not well understood because these bacteria enter a viable but nonculturable state when exposed to stressful conditions outside the body.
Appendix: Earlier review on Helicobacter pylori (1997)." PDF document Read the full text

Aug 2011 Toxins from Cyanobacteria

"Human exposure to cyanobacterial toxins primarily occurs through ingestion of contaminated water or shellfish, with some additional exposure through dietary supplements, other foods, and aerosols from lakes with cyanobacterial blooms. This review addresses recent information on microcystins, β-methylamino-L-alanine, paralytic shellfish toxins, and anatoxin-a.
Appendix: Earlier review on the alga Pfiesteria (1998)." PDF document Read the full text

Feb 2011 White Paper on Sources of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Other Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococci: Implications for Our Food Supply?

"Methicillin-resistant staphylococci: infections in animals and humans, presence in food, and potential food safety implications" PDF document Read the full text

Apr 2010 Non-O157:H7 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli from meat and non-meat sources

"Epidemiology, detection, outbreaks, infection routes, and interventions" PDF document Read the full text

Nov 2004 Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy: update

"Update of previous review; prion structure, analytical methods; CWD, BSE, and other transmissible spongiform encephalopathies.
Appendix, earlier BSE briefs: historical review, current issues and strategies for control of transmission spongiform encephalopathies (1996-2002)." PDF document Read the full text

Jul 1998 Campylobacter Chronic Effects

"Food vectors; Guillain-Barr syndrome." PDF document Read the full text

Apr 1997 Mycobacterium paratuberculosis — Another Emerging Pathogen of the Human Gastrointestinal Tract?

"Presence in milk; possible link to Crohn's disease." PDF document Read the full text

Jan 1997 Emergence of a Highly Virulent Strain of Salmonella typhimurium

"Multiple antibiotic resistance." PDF document Read the full text