S24 Pathogen Adaptation: Transmission from the Environment to Host and from Host to Host

Monday, August 1, 2016: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
230 (America's Center - St. Louis)
Sponsored By:
Primary Contact: Ben D. Tall
Organizers: Ben D. Tall , Keith Lampel and Seamus Fanning
Convenors: Ben D. Tall , Keith Lampel and Seamus Fanning
Globally, as the human population continues to increase, the interaction and contact between people, animals, and our environment become greatly amplified, introducing the risk of exposure to new foodborne viruses, bacteria, and other disease-causing pathogens and becomes more significant and impactful. The convergence of these three sectors has created a new paradigm in which the health of each group is inseparably interconnected and totally interdependent. Advancing technologies such as whole genome sequencing and science-based evidence is increasing the awareness, knowledge, and understanding of this interdependence of the health of humans, animals, and the environment. However, attentive safeguarding of our food and feed supplies from food-borne pathogens is vital for human, animal, and environmental health. To improved public health and food safety measures, the development, implementation, and sustainment of a national strategy based on the knowledge obtained from such studies is needed to understand this profound interdependence and realization that we are part of a larger, exquisite, and elaborate ecological system. The critical aspect of a pathogen’s ability to colonize a host and proceed to generate virulence factors to lead to infection. Worldwide, food is a common vehicle for pathogens transmission, either from the environment directly via plant products or food animals. This symposium will explore the molecular dynamics that affords the pathogen the ability to adapt, survive, persist, and grow in its initial environment and yet retain genetic information to remain a human pathogen. In some cases, specific genes are either mutated or deleted from an ancestral strain providing a better fit for the pathogen. Gaining a better understanding of these genetic mechanisms and their evolutionary driving force may expand the tools that the food industry and regulatory agencies need to reduce the opportunities of pathogens to find their way into the food supply.


3:30 PM
4:20 PM
Stress Adaptation in Foodborne Pathogens
Maire Begley, Cork Institute of Technology
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