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Listeria Monocytogenes; Petition to Establish a Regulatory Limit

FSIS notice updates BSE surveillance program
by Eric Hanson on 5/26/04 for Meatingplace.com
Source of Article: www.meatingplace.com

Beginning June 1, Public Health Veterinarians from the Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service will collect brain samples from cattle selected for BSE testing at FSIS inspected plants instead of Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service personnel, an FSIS notice said.
The notice, 28-04, which was released on May 20, 2004, updates FSIS Notice 18-03, and updates how inspectors will sample cattle for bovine spongiform encephalopathy.Trained FSIS veterinarians will now collect samples from condemned cattle and depending on their location, will ship those samples to one of the seven newly designated BSE sampling laboratories.Establishments in remote locations may have a trained FSIS veterinarian visit to collect samples, or an onsite APHIS technician can collect the samples as long as they are considered under the direct supervision of an FSIS veterinarian.
The notice can be found on FSIS' Web site.
The following table shows designated laboratories for BSE sampling:State where sample was collected
Designated laboratory

Arizona, California, Nevada
California Animal Health and Food Safety Lab System
University of California ?Davis, CA
Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Lab
Ft. Collins, CO
Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas
Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory
College Station, TX

Minnesota, Wisconsin
Wisconsin Animal Health Laboratory
Madison, WI

Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington Washington State University Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab
Pullman, WA

Alabama, Florida , Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia Athens Diagnostic Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia
Athens, GA

Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont NY State College of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Cornell University
Ithaca, NY

Alaska, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, Puerto Rico, West Virginia USDA, APHIS, National Veterinary Services Laboratory
Ames, IA

NFPA 2004 Graduate Student Scholarship Award

Source of Article: http://www.nfpa-food.org/graduate.htm

The objective of the National Food Processors Association Graduate Student Scholarship is to recognize an outstanding student in the area of food technology/food science who has shown ability to enhance the safety and wholesomeness of food products through research and scholastic achievement in one or more food science disciplines such as food microbiology, food chemistry, biotechnology, sanitation, packaging, or processing. The award provides up to $3000 for one year for continuation of education in food technology/ food science. The name of the recipient will be engraved on a wall plaque to be kept at NFPA Headquarters in Washington, DC. The award winner will be announced at the March 2005 NFPA Committee Meetings. NFPA will administer this award and will utilize various member volunteers to assist in the selection of the awardee. All decisions are final.

The general eligibility requirements for applicants are: outstanding scholastic ability in food technology/food science and a well-rounded personality. Age, sex, race and religion shall not be considered in the award process. Specifically:

1. Only graduate students doing research projects in the area of food technology/food science leading to a M.S. or Ph.D. shall be eligible.

2. The awardee shall have a special interest in food technology/food science research together with demonstrated scientific aptitude.

3. The awardee shall be a full-time enrolled student in a U.S. accredited, academic institution that is conducting scientific investigations designed to advance the field of food technology/food science.

4. In the event that an awardee stops conducting food science research, substantially changes the scope or direction of his or her planned research program, or discontinues full-time study in food technology/food science, he or she must return the unused portion (based on progress toward completion of research plan) of the lump sum payment. It is the responsibility of the awardee and the department head to notify NFPA immediately if any of these events occur.


1. Applications must be completed in English. Applications are available from NFPA and must be returned by September 17, 2004 to the following::

Leslei Greene, Office Assistant
Office of the Executive Vice President & Chief Science Officer
National Food Processors Association
1350 I Street, NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20005

2. The head of the department (food science or other) must sign the completed application before it is returned to NFPA.

3. The applicant must provide all information requested in the application form to be considered for the award.


The scholarship will be awarded at the NFPA spring meetings, 2005. Scholarship payment will be made in one lump sum payment of $3000 to the student at or immediately following the NFPA Convention. There shall be no scholarship renewals. Each student must submit a new application each year. Any qualified student can reapply for a scholarship - even a previous NFPA awardee.

1. Pick-up a copy of the application from your Department Head. (Mailings will occur on/about June 1, 2004)
2. Call Dr. Jeffery Barach, NFPA's Vice President for Special Projects at 202/639-5955.

Food Poisoning Could Become Thing of the Past

Studies with vaccines that fight foodborne illnesses show promise.
By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter
Source of Article: http://www.healthcentral.com/

WEDNESDAY, May 26 (HealthDayNews) -- Imagine the day when you can eat any food you like anywhere without worrying about food poisoning.
That day may be closer than you think.
Researchers have apparently made headway in developing various vaccines against foodborne illnesses. Their findings were detailed this week at several presentations at the American Society for Microbiology meeting in New Orleans.

"What we've developed is sort of a versatile vaccine-delivery system that you could plug in any antigen of interest for any organism that you're interested in developing a vaccine to," said John Gunn, lead author of one of the papers and an associate professor at the Center for Microbial Interface Biology at Ohio State University.

An antigen provokes the immune system to produce antibodies against it.

The paper Gunn presented showed that one vaccine conferred 100 percent protection against the bacteria salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes in mice for six months.

In the future, he added, "we hope to be able to load up multiple antigens in the system so that one vaccine would be protective against a number of different organisms."

In this case, Gunn and his colleagues used modified salmonella bacteria to deliver a protective antigen for L. monocytogenes. "We cloned that into the vaccine-delivery system so it's salmonella expressing this one protein from listeria," Gunn explained.

The salmonella was engineered so it was missing genes needed to make and transport a certain amino acid. "It's sort of crippled unless you give it this amino acid," Gunn said. "It can't obtain the amino acid in the host so it dies after it goes through the intestine. We want it to die and not cause any diseases but we want it to survive long enough to deliver antigens to the immune system."

The next step would be to test the vaccine in primates and, if all goes well, in humans.

Another group of researchers is working on an edible vaccine against a form of Escherichia coli.

There may be some public policy implications to these advances, warned other experts.

"The opportunity to protect people from a foodborne agent by immunizing them against the agent decreases societal insistence that food products themselves be pure," said Dr. Robert Sprinkle, an associate professor in the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, and editor-in-chief of Politics and the Life Sciences. "In other words, if everyone's immune, then do we really need to pay so much attention and spend so much money eliminating a particular organism from food products themselves?"

The answer appears to be yes. The issue, Sprinkle pointed out, is that no immunization program can expect to be universally successful. You will always have people who don't "take" to the vaccine, who refuse to get it for whatever reason or who are simply overlooked.

"If you rely on vaccination to deal with an industrial hygiene problem then you're going to protect many people very well but other people will not be protected at all so you would then tend to concentrate difficulties," Sprinkle said. "If you come to rely on vaccination of the population rather than maintenance of strict hygiene standards in the food industry, then any vulnerable person might actually be at increased risk."

"This policy concern is not an argument against pursuing this very promising research, but it is a caution and it's one that there are analogies elsewhere in food policy these days," he continued.

More information

The U.S. government has information on food safety (www.foodsafety.gov ) and on "Bad Bugs".

Japanese pork to get traceability labels
Source of Article: http://www.meatingplace.com/DailyNews/init.asp

Japan plans to introduce a labeling traceability system for pork similar to what the country applies to beef, according to Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The new label will allow pork to be traced back to its origin by entering a number on each label on a Web site, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun.

Similar labels have been installed on beef since December 2003, following concerns over food safety brought on by the discovery of cattle infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy in the country in 2001.

The ministry said it is also considering similar labels for poultry, rice and vegetables, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun.

Researcher says BSE may not be infectious

New Strain of Bacillus cereus Contains Anthrax Toxin Genes

For the first time, researchers have found anthrax toxin genes in a naturally occurring microbe other than Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes anthrax.

The microorganism that contains those anthrax genes is a newly identified strain of the soil microbe Bacillus cereus that was isolated from a patient with severe pneumonia similar to inhalation anthrax.

The significance of this strain was first noted during a CDC retrospective research study on Bacillus isolates associated with severe disease. TIGR then sequenced the complete genome of the B. cereus isolate that caused the anthrax-like illness and compared its DNA sequence to those of previously-sequenced strains of B. anthracis and B. cereus, which are closely related bacteria.

The genome analysis found that the virulent B. cereus isolate included a plasmid that was nearly identical to the anthrax plasmid that contains anthrax toxin genes.

TIGR President Claire M. Fraser, Ph.D., a senior author of the PNAS paper, says the discovery of a novel pathogen such as this virulent B. cereus strain illustrates the importance of being able to quickly recognize and identify new and emerging pathogens and shows that genomics can help a public health response to novel pathogens

B. cereus, most commonly associated with food poisoning, has also been suspected to be the cause of some cases of fatal respiratory disease. Last year, two cases of such a fatal pulmonary illness in the United States were attributed to B. cereus isolates that also contained the anthrax toxin genes.

Bacteriologists consider B. anthracis to be a member of the B. cereus family of rod-shaped bacteria, and recent genome studies have confirmed that the two species share many genes. The main difference between most strains of B. anthracis and B. cereus is that anthrax bacteria have plasmids that include genes that create the toxin.

That plasmid found in the virulent B. cereus isolate has 99.6 percent of the genetic sequence of the anthrax bacillus' toxin-coding plasmid, which is called pX01. It is not known exactly how the B. cereus strain acquired the anthrax toxin genes.

While a second plasmid was also found in the virulent B. cereus isolate, it differed significantly from the second anthrax plasmid (called pX02). However, the second B. cereus plasmid does include a novel sugar capsule cluster which is not found in other strains of that species, and researchers say it could potentially play a major role in the virulence of this B. cereus isolate.

The study, "Identification of anthrax toxin genes in a Bacillus cereus associated with an illness resembling inhalation anthrax," will appear in the June 1, 2004 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Source: The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) - Visit The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) web pages
Posted: May 21, 2004

Veneman Unaware of Banned Beef Shipments, USDA Says (Update1)

Source of Article: http://quote.bloomberg.com/

May 21 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman was not aware of a department decision allowing some beef products to be imported from Canada in violation of government bans imposed because of mad cow disease, her chief spokeswoman said.

``Secretary Veneman was not aware of additional processed product coming into the U.S.'' from Canada, Agriculture Department spokeswoman Alisa Harrison told reporters during a telephone press conference from Washington.

A total of 7.3 million pounds of processed beef products from Canada that should not have been allowed into the U.S. were shipped across the border since September, said Elsa Murano, undersecretary for food safety.

The products came from beef that in its raw form would have been allowed into the U.S. and posed no risk to human health, said Ron DeHaven, administrator of the department's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. He said the decisions that allowed the products into the U.S. were made by technical working groups.

Senator Kent Conrad, a Democrat from North Dakota, yesterday called on President George W. Bush to fire Veneman over the controversy.

``The USDA has secretly and selectively violated it own publicly announced ban on the importation of processed beef from Canada,'' Conrad said in a letter to Bush. He called the incident a threat to U.S. efforts to open export markets closed after the U.S. discovered a case of mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, in Washington state in December.

Conrad said the incident is ``so damaging to the credibility and integrity of the USDA'' that Bush should demand Veneman's resignation.

White House Praise

The White House rejected Conrad's demand. ``She's handled the BSE matter very deftly, taking quick action to protect the American food supply,'' said White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan. ``The president thinks Veneman's been doing an outstanding job.''

The U.S. banned cattle and beef products from Canada last may after mad cow disease was found in Alberta. The ban was eased in August to allow for imports of cuts of boneless beef from animals under 30 months old. A federal judge last month blocked an Agriculture Department decision to further relax the ban.

Last Updated: May 21, 2004 13:14 EDT

Sampling Services and Private Laboratories Used in Connection With Imported Food
FSIS notice updates BSE surveillance program

Studies to Evaluate the Safety of Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Human Food
Compliance Summary Information: Prior Notice
Listeria Monocytogenes; Petition to Establish a Regulatory Limit
Food; Current Good Manufacturing Practice Regulations; Public Meetings
Registration of Food Facilities Under the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness
Current Good Manufacturing Practice Regulations; Public Meetings
Canadian Imports, Sep 1, 2003 - Apr 30, 2004
National Advisory Committee On Meat and Poultry Inspection To Hold Public Meeting
Transcript of Technical Briefing, FSIS, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2004
Definitions and Standards: Elimination of the Pizza With Meat or Sausage Standards

Current Outbreaks
05/26. No reports of human mad cow disease ? CDC

05/26. Food poisoning, children - Ukraine
05/26. Two new E. coli cases reported
05/26. 700,000 killed by bad food and water in Asia each year: UN
05/25. Shellfish warning issued after nine go to hospital from Sech
05/25. KENYA: Death toll from contaminated grain rises to 51
05/25. Unidentified Virus Sweeps Through Assisted Living Home

05/24. [Vietnam] Unknown dried fish kills one, injures two
05/23. Suspect detained for poisoning college students in NE China
05/23. 50 students get food poisoning
05/22. Food Poisoning Puts 300 Mourners in Hospital
05/20. Officials Detect Bacteria Outbreak At Hospital
05/20. [China] Food poisons 216 people
05/19. Norwalk virus may have sickened Scottsdale students
05/19. 144 treated for food poisoning in China
05/18. Man becomes ill after gorging on cicadas
05/18. Angels tot still ailing
05/18. [Lebanon] Sidon hit by wave of poison cases

Current New Methods
05/26. Neogen's Ruminant Feed Test Receives AOAC Validation
05/26. Microsens develops test for human "mad cow" disease
05/26. Calgon Carbon Announces Recent UV Successes
05/26. Warnex receives first U.S. validations for Genevision(TM) te
05/25. Viruses clear bacterial contamination in chickens
05/24. New Study Shows Copper Could Control MRSA Contamination
05/23. Labs-on-a-chip to Detect Milk Contamination
05/20. Eggs hold food safety secret
05/20. New anti-bacteria treatment for milk processors
05/19. Detection for protective gas atmosphere packaging
05/18. New Pall-Aquasafe water filter stops Legionella bacteria in
05/18. Labs-on-a-chip to detect milk contamination
05/17. Microbial-Vac Systems(R), Inc. Unveils breakthrough Technolo
05/17. The New Gram Stain and Other Staining Methods Using Molecular Probes

Current Food Safety Informaiton
05/26. FSANZ seeks public comment on changes to the Food Standards
05/26. Test them all
05/26. Beware the poison picnic
05/26. Thai poultry exports still waiting for OIE clearance
05/26. FSIS notice updates BSE surveillance program
05/26. Animal Health Institute says animal antibiotics pose 'low' r
05/26. FSIS to hold E. coli O157:H7 prevention workshops
05/26. Safety firm targets Ukraine
05/26. NFPA 2004 Graduate Student Scholarship Award
05/26. Iran pistachio exporter dismisses EU cancer fears
05/26. FDA Grants Marketing Approval for XIFAXAN -Rifaximin-; First
05/26. Bronson unveils new bio-safety lab
05/26. RCM Technologies Canada awarded first Can-Trace contract to
05/26. Food Poisoning Could Become Thing of the Past

05/25. Television cooking shows as a source of food safety informat
05/25. Fans Of Raw Milk Herd Support At Safety Hearing
05/25. Some progress in BSE discussions with Japan
05/25. Much ado about process
05/25. Teleconference: update on BSE surveillance plan
05/25. GAO report calls for risk assessment, not legislation, to ma
05/25. Food safety without borders
05/25. Inspector ensures that Wilkes-Barre, Pa., event complies wit
05/25. Japanese pork to get traceability labels
05/25. Global action to combat animal disease threat
05/25. American Meat Institute says U.S. and Canadian beef are both
05/25. FSA happy with meat safety
05/25. The challenge to trace fresh produce
05/25. Consumers Question USDA Texas Mad Cow Conclusions
05/25. Researcher says BSE may not be infectious
05/25. Sheep With Scrapie May Be Dangerous, Researchers Warn
05/25. White tea beats green tea in fighting germs
05/25. Food Safe International, Inc. Signs Letter of Intent With Na
05/25. [Ireland] Consumers warned to take care with BBQ food
05/25. [Malaysia] Food safety practices
05/25. UN food agency launches Internet portal on food safety
05/25. Defenders Find Filthy Fast-Food Restaurants
05/25. Star System Fails To Protect HolidayMakers From Food Poisoni
05/25. Rare steak 'is safe to eat'
05/25. Single Oral Dose May Soon Protect Against Food-Borne Illness
05/25. GAO report: Animal antibiotics threaten human health
05/25. GAO: Risk to Humans from Antibiotic Use in Animals

05/24. Marler Clark Sues Paramount Farms Over Salmonella-tainted Almonds
05/24. Almond Board of California Responds to FDA's consumer adviso
05/24. NCBA statement: Efforts that would erode confidence in beef
05/24. Microbial loads of conventional and organic produce similar
05/24. USDA: Veneman was unaware of improper Canadian beef imports
05/24. EU traceability technology applied to meat industry
05/24. AMI Says Politically-Motivated BSE Rhetoric Must Stop

05/23. Reading food labels the key to avoiding allergic reactions
05/23. Mela Tolerant [Food Intolerance education series]
05/23. UPDATE 1-USDA to tighten mad cow testing in suspect cattle
05/23. U.S., Some Ranchers Clash Over Mad Cow Tests
05/23. Malformed Proteins Found in Sheep Muscle

05/22. Food safety conference opens in Malaysia with warnings of co
05/22. Watchdog warns of poison by the punnet
05/22. Food safety officials from 40 Asia-Pacific nations to meet i
05/22. Compound in salsa may fight food poisoning
05/22. New Strain of Bacillus cereus Contains Anthrax Toxin Genes

05/21. ACMSF consults on second campylobacter report
05/21. Canada baffled by beef brouhaha
05/21. Reassurance is crucial in mad-cow disaster
05/21. Chloropropanols in meat products
05/21. Senator To Veneman: Resign Over Mad Cow
05/21. [China] Campaign to check food safety
05/21. Virtually Complete Traceback
05/21. Recall Cause Identified
05/21. Banned Canadian beef was imported into U.S.
05/21. Trade Associations Petition FDA to Establish Regulatory Limi
05/21. FDA Not Yet Ready to Announce Mad Cow Feed Rules
05/21. Politically-Motivated BSE Rhetoric Must Stop; U.S. and Canad
05/21. USDA vets allowed to take samples from condemned cattle
05/21. Thousands may carry mad cow virus [sic]
05/21. Veneman Unaware of Banned Beef Shipments, USDA Says
05/21. Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratory Certified for BSE Sample
05/21. USDA infighting may have led to no test for sick cow
05/21. Bacterial danger hidden in the water
05/21. Food Poisoning or Flu?
05/21. Water bug parents set to sue
05/21. Nutrition Q&A: Don't invite foodborne illness to picnic
05/21. Freezing, Food Safety Link Gains Momentum on Capitol Hill

05/20. Grocery fined for mislabelling meat
05/20. Belgian food scare sparks cancer alert
05/20. GM Foods in Europe: Politicians Say Yes, Public Says NO!
05/20. EU ruling paves the way for GM sales
05/20. Safety a Matter of Risk
05/20. Sausage maker on trial for murdering inspectors allegedly re
05/20. BSE discussions conclude in Japan
05/20. China¡¯s big problem : food piracy
05/20. USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Cites Real Progress
05/20. Egg Allergy Diet
05/20. Low Levels of Acrylamide Don't Worry Experts
05/20. Experts are forecasting 60 more cases of mad cow
05/20. Scientists fear hidden epidemic of vCJD
05/20. Canada Rejects Call for Increasing Mad Cow Tests, Sun Says
05/20. OSU assistant professor earns award
05/20. Top 10 Dirtiest Foods Will Make You Sick
05/20. 'Delhi belly' vaccine licensed only for cholera, says Europe
05/20. Plant Pathologists to Meet in Anaheim to Discuss Food Safety
05/20. [Canada] Notice to Food Editors
05/20. Nigeria`s food agency orders tainted noodles off shelves
05/20. Food Safety Measures For Fiddleheads

05/19. U.S., Japanese officials meet to discuss BSE ban
05/19. Test to look at drug for peanut allergy
05/19. U.S., Japan plan more talks to resolve BSE deadlock
05/19. ACIL: Unfair Government Competition in BSE Testing
05/19. Japan, US stay apart on Japan's ban on US beef imports
05/19. Revival of an Old Cure: Bacteria-Eating Viruses
05/19. Serious E. coli infections fell by 36 percent in 2003
05/19. 'Sausage king' turned down offers of help
05/19. EU ends ban on GM food
05/19. Food Safe International Signs Letter of Intent with DTG Indu
05/19. Intelligent packaging must be regulated, says FSAI
05/19. Ensuring food safety is focus of area sellers

05/18. California's SB 1425
05/18. Second packer requests permission to test all of its cattle
05/18. BC-Agriculture
05/18. CFSAN 2004 program priorities
05/18. Research identifies the natural progression and potential tr
05/18. BSE still a threat, more precautions needed
05/18. Excellence Ireland quality association and safefood call for
05/18. Plant sanitation a problem? Check for overstressed turkeys
05/18. Medical health officer issues warning about Norwalk virus
05/18. Central Florida's Dirty Restaurants
05/18. Hotel in mouse dropping charge
05/18. KSU Food Safety Site reorganized
05/18. Texas producers urged to test cattle for TB
05/18. Tough nuts
05/18. Dirty homes bug hygiene scientists
05/18. Food Safe International Signs Letter of Intent with DTG Indu
05/18. State Misses Lead Poisoning¡¯s New, Immigrant Face

Current Recall Information

The New Gram Stain and Other Staining Methods Using Molecular Probes

By Jeanne Moldenhauer Vectech Pharmaceutical Consultants, Inc.

One of the very first things learned in the microbiology laboratory is how to perform a Gram stain. The results of the Gram stain have been critical to identification of bacteria. Most of those who have participated in a basic microbiology laboratory course have had the opportunity to have these stains on your hands, clothes and lab coats.

Microbiologists have had to learn the order of the staining procedure; the times allowed for each reagent and the purpose of each reagent in order to successfully perform the staining procedure. Fortunately, a one step system is now available.

Gram Staining
Believe it or not, a new kit has been developed for performing Gram stains, called "LIVE Bac Light Bacterial Gram Stain Kit". This technology uses a single solution, without fixatives and washes. Results are obtained in a few minutes. Syto-9 stain and red-fluorescent hexidium iodide nucleic acid stain are used. The method can be used with mixed cultures. Gram-positive organisms stain a reddish-orange and Gram-negative organisms stain green.

The fluorescent stains can be viewed/assessed using a fluorescent microscope (with a standard fluorecein long pass optical filter set) or using flow cytometry. The reagents have been designed to show low background stain (intrinsic).

Dead cells do not show a predicted staining pattern. There are also procedures specified for use with Direct Epifluorescence Filter Techniques (DEFT).

A second staining kit, "ViaGram Red+ Bacterial Gram Stain and Viability Kit," is similar to the first kit described, but it uses two stains and three colors, so that viable and non-viable cells can be readily detected in addition to knowing the Gram reaction. Plasma membrane integrity is used as the distinguishing factor for live bacterial cells. Intact membranes are detected with a blue stain, while damaged membranes stain green. The red stain is evidence for Gram-positive bacteria.

Other Stains
Additional methods are available for detecting bacteria, yeast and plankton (nucleic acid stains).

Bacterial Enumeration and Assessment of Antibiotic Sensitivity
This stain technology combined with flow cytometry has also been applied to the development of bacterial counting methods (enumeration of bacteria). A nucleic acid stain is utilized that can easily penetrate microorganisms that are both Gram-positive and Gram-negative. Calibrated microspheres are also used and allow for enumeration of the bacteria present in the sample. Since the counts can be evaluated over time, it is possible to assess the sensitivity of the bacteria in the sample to antibiotics, e.g., the population would decrease if sensitive to the antibiotic being tested.

This article is taken from the March 2004 RMUG newsletter.

Request more information about this news item

Source: Vectech Pharmaceutical Consultants
Posted: May 17, 2004

Revision of the Requirements for Spore-Forming Microorganisms


United States and Japan To Hold First BSE Technical Working Group Meeting

Viruses clear bacterial contamination in chickens

Source of Article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-05/asfm-rvc051804.php

NEW ORLEANS May 25, 2004--Researchers from Nottingham University in the United Kingdom have developed a new method for reducing the level of contamination of chickens by the foodborne bacterium Campylobacter jejuni. They are using bacterial viruses to target and kill the organism. They report their research today at the 104th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.
In the study, the researchers isolated a number of naturally occurring bacterial viruses (called bacteriophage) that can infect and kill campylobacter bacteria from the feces of chickens. They then used these bacteriophage to treat chickens that were infected with campylobacter.

"Campylobacter bacteriophage are naturally present in chickens and have no recorded detrimental effect on the health of chickens or human beings," says Catherine Loc-Carrillo, a researcher on the study. "In nature a balance exists between predator and prey which allows both [the bacterium and the bacteriophage] to flourish. Here the use of bacteriophage to reduce campylobacters within the chicken gut merely involves shifting nature's balance in our favor for a short period of time. This time point should be just prior to when the birds are sent for slaughter."

This brief shifting of nature's balance, in this case, resulted in a 100- to 100,000 fold reduction in the number of bacteria in the chickens' intestines over a 3-day period. The amount of the reduction was dependant on both the particular bacteriophage used and the dose administered.

"The selection of the bacteriophage is critical for this application since not all bacteriophage are effective," says Loc-Carillo.

This study was funded by the United Kingdom Government's Food Quality and Safety Link initiative with a consortium of poultry producers and food companies.

This release is a summary of a presentation from the 104th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, May 23-27, 2004, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Additional information on these and other presentations at the 104th ASM General Meeting can be found online at http://www.asm.org/Media/index.asp?bid=27289 or by contacting Jim Sliwa (jsliwa@asmusa.org) in the ASM Office of Communications. The phone number for the General Meeting Press Room is 504-670-4240 and will be active from 12:00 noon CDT, May 23 until 12:00 noon CDT, May 27.