S10 The Vegetarian Lifestyle: Molecular Responses of Enteric Pathogens to Fresh Produce

Sunday, July 26, 2015: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM
C123 (Oregon Convention Center)
Primary Contact: Shirley Micallef
Organizer: Shirley Micallef
Convenors: Shirley Micallef and Tong (Nancy) Liu
Research on enteric pathogen colonization of fresh produce crops and their production areas has slowly changed the earlier notion that enteric pathogens are poorly adapted to survive outside animal hosts.  Mounting evidence supports the view that enteric pathogens have developed physiological means to persist in the environment and to use plants as alternative hosts.  Several pathogens, including Salmonella, enteropathogenic Escherichia coli and Listeria monocytogenes have been shown to effectively colonize and be able to multiply on a variety of fresh produce crops including leafy greens, vine-stalk vegetables, melons and sprouts. Recent research that makes use of molecular, microarray, next generation sequencing and mass spectrometry technologies have begun to elucidate the molecular mechanisms by which enteric pathogens can successfully achieve this.  Genes involved in virulence, motility, stress and surface structures could be involved, and some of the same mechanisms used in animal infection could be at play.  Published and ongoing work is also showing that different enteric pathogens appear to use different sets of genes for colonization, and differences also exist among serotypes of the same species, or pathogens attaching to a variety of crops.  There is a pressing need to better understand the strategies used by pathogens to colonize fresh produce, and the genetic mechanisms by which conditions facilitate establishment and persistence, to help devise ways to mitigate contamination risks.  This symposium will bring together perspectives and latest findings on the molecular responses induced in human pathogens successfully colonizing food plants.

Presentations

11:10 AM
Shared Strategies between Plant Colonization and Host Infection
Maria Brandl, USDA-ARS-WRRC, Produce Safety and Microbiology Research Unit
11:30 AM
Proteomic Analysis of Salmonella Colonizing Produce
Xu Li, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
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