Foodborne Pathogens

Symptoms and risks of foodborne illness

People who are at risk for infection with E. coli O157, salmonella species, or campylobacter species include anyone drinking inadequately treated water or eating undercooked or mishandled food products, and those who are in contact with farm animals or domestic pets. The most common food vehicles for salmonella include eggs, poultry, meat, and meat products. Salmonella also has been found […]

Preventing salmonellosis at home

Salmonellosis is a disease shared by animals and humans, and several outbreaks of salmonellosis in Washington cattle have lead to human illness. People in direct contact with cattle are not the only ones who can become sick. Indirect contact with cattle can occur when someone handles products like unpasteurized milk or touches boots contaminated with […]


There are three major groups of salmonella: host-specific (primarily infects one species of animal), host-adapted (can infect several species but are adapted to live in one), and unadapted serovars with no host preference 1. The foodborne pathogens we study are in the last two groups. Salmonella is a bacteria which causes a foodborne diarrheal illness in humans. […]

Foodborne disease overview

Primarily, we study the foodborne pathogens Escherichia coli O157:H7 (O157), Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium definitive type 104 (DT104), and Campylobacter jejuni. These bacteria inhabit the gastrointestinal tracts of a large variety of species. Water trough sediments, soil, and animal bedding can also harbor O157 and DT104. This wide range of habitats and reservoirs, ranging from stagnant ponds to insect guts […]