Sep. 1, 2008 - Aug. 31, 2011Award Number
Center for Produce SafetyAmount Awarded
Lynn Joens, Ph.D.
University of Arizona
Duff, G.; Marchello, J.; Ward, M.Summary
Recent studies have shown a decrease in Campylobacter jejuni prevalence in poultry, however, campylobacteriosis continues to be a leading cause of gastroenteritis in the U.S. This indicates that other sources for C. jejuni contamination are present in the food chain. Preliminary data from our laboratory demonstrated a prevalence of 73.5% of C. jejuni in feedlot cattle and a prevalence of 94.7% in samples obtained from the ventral midline of carcasses. Since trimmings for grinding into ground beef are often taken from this portion of the carcass, we believe that the consumption of ground beef poses a significant health risk to humans. Therefore, we hypothesize that C. jejuni are introduced into ground beef from trimmings due to carcass contamination and pose a significant risk to consumers. We will test this hypothesis by sampling and obtaining quantitative C. jejuni load data from feedlot cattle from range through processing. In addition, C. jejuni presence will be determined from environmental samples, including from birds at the feedlot, from the feed, watering units, bunks, and pens. The lineage of these isolates will be compared to C. jejuni isolated from feedlot cattle to determine the source of contamination. Isolates obtained from cattle and environmental samples will also be examined for antibiotic resistance, and virulence traits. Data generated from this research will be critical in the development of intervention and control methods to reduce the number of cases of campylobacteriosis.