Foodborne Pathogens

Source:  Foodborne Pathogens    Tag:  zoonotic pathogens
World Journal of Medical Sciences 9 (4): 208-222, 2013 ISSN 1817-3055 © IDOSI Publications, 2013 DOI: 10.5829/idosi.wjms.2013.9.4.8177 Corresponding Author: Nawal A. Hassanain, Zoonotic Diseases Department, National Research Center, Postal code:12622, Dokki, Giza, Egypt. 208 Public Health Importance of Foodborne Pathogens Nawal A. Hassanain, Mohey A. Hassanain, Wahid M. Ahmed, 11 2 Raafat M. Shaapan, Ashraf M. Barakat and Hassan A.El-Fadaly 11 1 Department of Zoonotic Diseases, National Research Center, Giza, Egypt 1 Department of Animal Reproduction & AI, National Research Center, Giza, Egypt

Abstract: Foodborne pathogens cause a considerable public health burden and challenge. They cause illnesses and deaths in all populations, particularly in groups at risk such as infants, children, elderly and immunocompromised persons. Diarrheal diseases, almost all of which are caused by foodborne or waterborne microbial pathogens, are leading causes of illness and death in less developed countries, killing an estimated 1.9 million people annually at the global level. Even in developed countries, it is estimated that up to one third of the population is affected by microbiological foodborne diseases each year. The majority of the pathogens causing this significant disease burden are now considered to be zoonotic. The occurrence of some of these zoonotic pathogens seems to have increased significantly over recent years. The most important source of foodborne disease is raw or improperly cooked food (meat and poultry, raw eggs, unpasteurized milk, shellfish and rice). Food handlers play a major role in ensuring food safety throughout the chain of food production. The most commonly recognized foodborne infections are those caused by bacteria (Campylobacter spp., Salmonella spp.,E. coli O157:H7, L. monocytogenes); viruses (Hepatitis A virus, Hepatitis E virus, Rotavirus); mycotoxins; marine bio toxins and parasites (T. solium, T. saginata, Echinococcus spp., Trich. spiralis, Fasciola, Cryptosporidium parvum, Entamoeba histolytica, T gondii). Symptoms of foodborne diseases greatly depend on the type of pathogen. Numerous organisms cause similar symptoms, especially diarrhea, abdominal cramps and nausea. Pathogens that cause foodborne sporadic diseases and outbreaks are usually detected by specific laboratory tests. The primary goal of foodborne outbreak investigation is to control ongoing and future outbreaks. The general strategy of prevention of foodborne diseases require the application of surveillance and information systems for these diseases and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system in the food production chain from farm to consumers and import/export regulations. Reducing microbiological contamination in meat can be achieved through environmental hygiene, best quality of livestock feed, animal vaccination, mandatory inspection of livestock as well as sanitary standards for slaughter-houses and meat processing plant. Food safety can also be achieved by applying personal hygiene, hygienic handling of food and sanitation of the premises and kitchen utensils. Routine medical and laboratory examination of food handlers should be followed. Planning health education programs for food handlers and consumers are important rules to prevent foodborne diseases.