Zoonotic and Public Health Implications of Campylobacter Species and Squamates (Lizards, Snakes and Amphisbaenians)
Authors: Masila, Nicodemus M.; Ross, Kirstin E.; Gardner, Michael G.; Whiley, Harriet
Campylobacter spp. is one of the most widespread infectious diseases of veterinary and public health significance. Globally, the incidence of campylobacteriosis has increased over the last decade in both developing and developed countries. Squamates (lizards, snakes and amphisbaenians) are a potential reservoir and source of transmission of campylobacteriosis to humans. This systematic review examined studies from the last 20 years that have reported squamate-associated human campylobacteriosis. It was found that C. fetus subsp. testudinum and C. fetus subsp. fetus were the most common species responsible for human campylobacteriosis from a squamate host. The common squamate hosts identified included bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps), green iguana (Iguana iguana), western beaked gecko (Rhynchoedura ornate) and blotched blue-tongued skink (Tiliqua nigrolutea). People with underlying chronic illnesses, the immunocompromised and the elderly were identified as the most vulnerable population. Exposure to pet squamates, wild animals, consumption of reptilian cuisines and cross contamination with untreated water were risk factors associated with Campylobacter infections. Proper hand hygiene practices, responsible pet ownership, 'One Health' education and awareness on zoonotic diseases will help reduce the public health risks arising from Campylobacter exposure through squamates. Continued surveillance using molecular diagnostic methods will also enhance detection and response to squamate-linked campylobacteriosis.
Thermal inactivation of Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and a surrogate (Pediococcus acidilactici) on raisins, apricot halves, and macadamia nuts using vacuum-steam pasteurization
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF FOOD MICROBIOLOGY
Authors: Acuff, Jennifer C.; Wu, Jian; Marik, Claire; Waterman, Kim; Gallagher, Daniel; Huang, Haibo; Williams, Robert C.; Ponder, Monica A.
Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), and Listeria monocytogenes have been isolated from low water activity foods (LWAF), where they may survive for extended periods. The ready-to-eat nature of many LWAF, such as dried fruits and nuts, warrants effective post-harvest thermal treatment for the reduction of pathogens such as low-temperature, saturated steam, also known as vacuum-assisted steam pasteurization. The objective of this study was to determine reductions of Salmonella, STEC, L. monocytogenes, and a possible surrogate (Pediococcus acidilactici) on dried apricot halves, whole macadamia nuts, and raisins after treatment with vacuum-assisted steam at three temperatures (62 degrees C, 72 degrees C, or 82 degrees C) and multiple time intervals. Bacterial inactivation was variable between commodities, with higher temperatures and longer times necessary to achieve comparable reductions of pathogens on apricot halves and macadamia nuts compared to raisins. Reductions of the tested pathogens were comparable; therefore, one species was not more resistant than the others. Pathogens were reduced by 5-log CFU/g on apricot halves after 20 min at 72 degrees C and after 5 min at 82 degrees C. Longer treatment times were necessary to achieve reductions of each pathogen on macadamia nuts. Pathogens were reduced by nearly 5 log CFU/g on macadamia nuts after 38 min at 72 degrees C (4.6-6.5 log CFU/g) and after 12 min at 82 degrees C (4.9-5.7 log CFU/g). Reductions of pathogens on raisins were achieved at lower temperatures than necessary for the other foods. A 5-log reduction for each of the pathogens (CFU/g) on raisins occurred after 20 min at 62 degrees C and after 5 min at 72 degrees C. Overall, the reductions of the pathogens exceeded those of P. acidilactici on both the dried fruits and macadamia nuts. Statistically significant differences, indicating greater confidence as a conservative surrogate, were observed at lower treatment temperatures. Inactivation kinetics were modeled for each pathogen on each food type and temperature. Bacterial survival was best described by the Weibull model for raisins and macadamia nuts, while the Gompertz model best described reductions on apricot halves according to Akaike information criterion (AIC) and root-mean-square error (RMSE) evaluations. Water activity and moisture content were increased due to the treatments, which could be addressed through implementation of drying steps. Thermal inactivation kinetic models and 5-log reduction parameters can help food processors design and evaluate similar vacuum-assisted steam interventions to comply with FSMA regulations and preventive control plans. However, results or model predictions should not be extrapolated to assume the safety of other types of foods.