Emerging Foodborne Pathogens ( Prof. Dr. İrfan EROL )


Prof. Dr. İrfan EROL, DVM, Ph.D.
Turkish Representative of World Vet. Assoc.

Department of Food Hygiene and Technology
School of Veterinary Medicine
Ankara University

Despite advances in hygiene, consumer knowledge, food treatment and processing, foodborne diseases mediated by pathogenic microorganisms or microbial toxins still represent a significant treat to public health worldwide.

Globally, the WHO has estimated that approximately 1.5 billion episodes of diarrhea and more than 3 million deaths occurred in children under 5 years of age, and a significant proportion of these results from consumption of food mainly food of animal origin with microbial pathogens and toxins

Emerging & Reemerging Zoonotic Diseases

60 % of the human pathogens are zoonotic

75 % of emerging zoonotic

Emerging Foodborne Pathogens


   those causing illnesses that have only recently appeared or been recognised in a population or that are well recognised but are rapidly increasing in incidence or geographic range

Emerging Foodborne Diseases

Appeared recently

Extended to new vehicles of transmission

Started to increase rapidly in incidence or geographic range

Been widespread for many years but only recently identified through new or increased knowledge or methods of identification and analysis of the disease agent

Emerging Foodborne Diseases

Pose a threat to all persons; no matter on age, sex, lifestyle or socio-economic status etc.

Feel pain and death

Economic impact

Emerging Foodborne Diseases
Major trends

Changes in environment (technology, climate, etc)

Mass production and globalisation of food supply

Economic development

International travel and trade

Changing character of the population

Breakdown in public health

Lifestyle changes

Microbial adaptation

Emerging Foodborne Pathogens





Emerging foodborne bacteria

Salmonella (multidrug resistant strain)

Campylobacter  jejuni

E. coli O157:H7

Listeria monocytogenes

S. aureus MRSA

Vibrio vulnificus

Yersinia enterocolitica

Arcobacter spp.

Mycobacterium paratuberculosis

Emerging foodborne viruses

Hepatit A and E


(Avian influenza, AI)

Emerging foodborne parasites

Cryptosporidium parvum

Cyclospora cayetanensis

Anisakis spp.

WHO Surveillance Programme for Control of Foodborne Infections and Intoxications in Europe  8th Report 1999-2000 Country Reports: Turkey

Salmonella serotype distribution in Turkey
(Erol et al., 2009)

S. Agona

S. Kentucky  Spices

S. Bredeney

Some Important Campylobacter Outbreaks in the World

Campylobacter jejuni

  Quinolone- and fluoroquinolone-resistant Campylobacter jejuni in the United States, 1982–2001

Campylobacter jejuni

Thermophilic Campylobacter spp. in turkey meat (n=270)
(Cakmak and Erol, 2009)

Thermophilic Camylobacter spp. 123 (45.5%)

C. jejuni 109 (40.3 %)

C. coli    11 (  4.0 %)

Not typed   3

Antibiotic resistance profile of C. jejuni isolates in turkey meat (Cakmak and Erol, 2009)

E. coli O157:H7 isolates found in fecal samples of cattle and sheep at slaughter in Turkey (Erol et al., 2008)

Toxin profiles of 11 E. coli O157:H7 isolates within the PFGE groups in cattle in Turkey (Erol et al., 2008)

Some Important Listeria outbreaks in the World

Contamination level of turkey meat with

  1. monocytogenes is 17.8 % (32/180)

(Ayaz and Erol 2008)

L. monocytogenes serotype distribution

  • 44.9 % 1/2a

  • 37.2 % 4b

  • 9.0 % 1/2b

  • 9.0 % 1/2c

Antibiotic resistance profiles of L. monocytogenes  in turkey meat (n:24) (Ayaz and Erol, 2008)

Occurrence of Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts in Turkey
(Kursun and Erol, 2003)

Antibiotic resistance

It’s a global concern of the antibiotic resistance of major foodborne pathogens such as;

Salmonella Typhimurium DT 104

Campylobacter  spp.

Listeria monocytogenes

  1. coli O157:H7

Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

Enterococcus (VRE)


  Risk management  Epidemiological   evaluation /

  Risk assessment


Control of Foodborne Disease

From farm to table approach

Implementation of GMP and HACCP

Public Health Approach

Public health system


Epidemiology for earlier diagnosis

Early response to outbreaks

Provide to disease patterns changing

Public health lab. support for rapid and accurate diagnosis

Rapid communication links

Communication to public

Education on prevention and/or detection

Factors contributing to the global incidence of foodborne disease

  • Poor sanitary conditions

  • Malnutrition

  • Changing demographics (increasing population of infants, elderly)

  • Inadequate public health infrastructure

  • Inadequate hygienic and technological conditions of food production

  • Inadequate cooking, reheating and storage conditions

  • Increasing tourism and international trade

  • Increasing animal movement and insufficient control of borders

  • Increasing international trade of animal and food

  • Inadequate legislation and official control system

  • Emerging/reemerging foodborne pathogens

  • Acquisition of virulence and antibiotic genes by nonpathogenic bacteria

  • Adaptation and enhanced survival of pathogens in food

  • Inadequate consumer education

outbreak in Turkey

Although there is a religious restriction on pork meat consumption, in January 2004 there was a big trichinellosis outbreak occurred by consuming çiğ köfte (raw ground meat ball-traditional food) in Izmir

542 people were affected and  samples were found to be contaminated with T. britovi

One World One Health (OWOH)

The medical and veterinary professions have a common interest in many diseases, primarily zoonotic diseases such as BSE, SARS and, most recently, Avian Influenza (H5N1), have highlighted the need for interprofessional collaboration not just locally and nationally, but on a global scale.

Improving animal and human health globally through collaboration among all the health sciences, especially between the veterinary and human medical professions to address critical needs.

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