Review Article
Food-borne Pathogens of Animal Origin-Diagnosis, Prevention, Control and Their Zoonotic Significance: A Review

K. Dhama, S. Rajagunalan, S. Chakraborty, A.K. Verma, A. Kumar, R. Tiwari and S. Kapoor

Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, 2013, 16(20), 1076-1085.


The term food borne diseases or food-borne illnesses or more commonly food poisoning are used to denote gastrointestinal complications that occur following recent consumption of a particular food or drink. Millions of people suffer worldwide every year and the situation is quiet grave in developing nations creating social and economic strain. The food borne pathogens include various bacteria viz., Salmonella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Yersinia enterocolitica, Staphylococcus, Arcobacter, Clostridium perfringens, Cl. botulinum and Bacillus cereus and helminths viz., Taenia. They also include protozoa viz., Trichinella, Sarcocystis, Toxoplasma gondii and Cryptosporidium parvum. The zoonotic potential and the ability to elaborate toxins by many of the microbes causing fatal intoxication are sufficient to understand the seriousness of the situation. The viral agents being host specific their transmission to humans through food of animal origin is not yet confirmed although these animal viruses are similar to that of viruses infecting human. Food-borne bacteria; protozoa and helminthes have complex distribution pattern in the environment and inside the host system. This along with complexity of the maintenance chain and life cycle (of parasites) has made it difficult for epidemiologist and diagnostician to undertake any immediate safety measures against them. Serological and molecular diagnostic tests viz. ELISA, Latex agglutination test, Lateral flow assays, Immunomagnetic separation assays, molecular assays viz. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), multiplex PCR, immuno-PCR, Realtime PCR, Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD)-PCR, DNA microarrays and probes are widely used. Along with these LAMP assays, Capillary Electrophoresis-Single Strand Confirmation polymorphism (CE-SSCP); Flow cytometry, FISH, Biosensors, Direct epifluorescent filter technique, nanotechnology based methods and sophisticated tools (ultrasonography, magnetic resonance imaging and chlonangio-pancreatography) have aided in the diagnosis greatly. Most of the food-borne illnesses are self-limiting but in many instances antibiotics are recommended. With the increased drug resistance however use of chicken immunoglobulin, bacteriophage therapy, probiotics and herbs are gaining much importance these days. Adoption of proper prevention and control measures (including cooking procedures; hygiene, strict adherence to HACCP principles, public awareness and disease surveillance and monitoring) are the need of hour. All these have been discussed vividly in this review to help epidemiologists, diagnosticians, clinicians and above all common people so as to enable them avoid negligence regarding such serious issue.

ASCI-ID: 1-6067

Cited References Fulltext

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