Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Food-borne pathogen traced to lettuce

18.02.2004


For the first time, scientists have identified fresh produce as the source of an outbreak of human Yersinia pseudotuberculosis infections, according to an article published in the March 1 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, now available online. The outbreak was identified in Finland and traced epidemiologically to farms producing lettuce.



Y. pseudotuberculosis, first identified in 1883, causes infections characterized by fever and abdominal pain that are often confused with acute appendicitis. The microbe is well known in veterinary medicine as the cause of illnesses in hares, deer, and sheep, among other animals. Y. pseudotuberculosis infections in humans are relatively rare, and while foodborne transmission has long been suspected, attempts to trace the pathogen to a concrete source of contamination in the past have been unsuccessful.

In October of 1998, two microbiology laboratories in southern Finland discovered an alarming increase in infections during routine surveillance of laboratory-diagnosed infections. J. Pekka Nuorti, of the National Public Health Institute of Finland, and colleagues from the University of Helsinki, the National Public Health Institute of Finland, and the National Food Agency of Finland initiated epidemiological and environmental investigations that would eventually reveal the source as contaminated iceberg lettuce.


In a case-control study, 38 patients with confirmed infections were questioned about what and where they ate in the two weeks before the onset of their symptoms. The investigation led to four lunch cafeterias where the patients reported eating iceberg lettuce. The lettuce served in those cafeterias was traced to four farms in the southwest archipelago region of Finland. While no lettuce remained from the shipments identified from the cafeterias, Y. pseudotuberculosis was discovered in soil, irrigation water, and lettuce samples from one of those farms. The investigators suspect that the pathogen was spread by the feces of roe deer, which have been carriers of the pathogen in the past. Deer feces were found in and around the open, unfenced fields where the lettuce was grown.

In an accompanying editorial, Robert V. Tauxe, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, notes that the next step in preventing future outbreaks of this kind might begin with studying the behavior of Y. pseudotuberculosis in lettuce plants and attempting to define whether deer or other animals are the specific reservoir of the pathogen. Such investigations may lead to better methods of prevention--from fenced-in fields to vaccinations of implicated animal populations or the use of disinfecting strategies such as irradiation--and give those who enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables more security about what they eat.


Founded in 1904, The Journal of Infectious Diseases (JID) is the premier publication in the Western Hemisphere for original research on the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious diseases; on the microbes that cause them; and on disorders of host immune mechanisms. Articles in JID include research results from microbiology, immunology, epidemiology, and related disciplines. The journal is published under the auspices of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), based in Alexandria, Va., a professional society representing more than 7,500 physicians and scientists who specialize in infectious diseases.

Diana Olson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.idsociety.org/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Using fragment-based approaches to discover new antibiotics
21.06.2018 | SLAS (Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening)

nachricht Scientists learn more about how gene linked to autism affects brain
19.06.2018 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Better model of water under extreme conditions could aid understanding of Earth's mantle

21.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

What are the effects of coral reef marine protected areas?

21.06.2018 | Life Sciences

The Janus head of the South Asian monsoon

21.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>