FOOD INFORMATION ONLINE
September 30, 2003
food into the UK? Then check out our new section on imported foods.
find information about what can be imported for personal use and how
and standards of imported food are controlled. There's also
local authority enforcement teams, a feedback section, plus
pages on specific
foods such as cakes and sweets, spices, meat, dairy and
out more at http://www.foodstandards.gov.uk/enforcement/imports/
AND PACIFIC CONFERENCE ON FOOD SAFETY
May 24-27, 2004
and Quality Update Issue No 9. September 2003
Safety for Asia and the Pacific
The website for the Regional Conference on Food Safety for
Asia and the
Pacific to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 24-27 May 2004
available in French, Spanish, English, and Chinese at:
Member countries of the region
are being encouraged to convene national task
forces to facilitate their
adequate for the Conference. For more information
on the Conference,
to hold public meetings on bioterrorism act
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing a public meeting (via satellite
downlink) to discuss final regulations implementing two sections in Title III
of the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of
2002 (Bioterrorism Act) regarding Registration of Food Facilities (Docket No.
2002N-0276) and Prior Notice of Imported Food Shipments (Docket No. 2002N-0278).
FDA expects to publish shortly in the Federal Register final rules implementing
each of these provisions. The purpose of the satellite downlink public meeting
is to provide information on the rules to the public and to provide the public
an opportunity to ask questions of clarification. The satellite downlink public
meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 28, 2003, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. eastern
standard time. Questions submitted in advance must be received by the contact
person by close of business (4:30 p.m.) on Friday, October 24, 2003. For more
information, see the Federal Register of October 1, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 190,
water may cause 10% of food poisoning cases
LAING October 03 2003
BOTTLED water could
be a significant source of bacterial infection, according to new research.
study by scientists at the University of Wales and Cardiff public health laboratory
suggests that, although under-cooked poultry is by far the biggest source, contaminated
mineral water may account for more than one in 10 cases of campylobacter, the
UK's big-gest cause of food poisoning. Dr Meirion Evans, of the department of
epidemiology, who led the research, said: "What we have found is that it
does appear that people who have been infected by campylobacter are more likely
to have drunk mineral water than those who have not been infected. That suggests
the possibility that some cases may be associated with drinking bottled water."
Evans agreed that most people assume that mineral water is safer than tap water.
However, he added: "In most parts of the UK tap water has been chemically
processed, whereas the mineral water you find in bottles is as it comes. Though
mineral water is inherently safer than most sources of tap water it could be contaminated
in processing or bottling."
The researchers examined 200 cases of food
poisoning, collecting details of what the sufferers had eaten and drunk, where
they had been, and whether or not they had been in contact with farm animals.
compared their findings with a control group, none of whom had food poisoning.
The results, published in the US-based specialist science journal, Emerging Infectious
Disease, showed that more than 30% of cases could be attributed to contaminated
chicken and 21% to raw salad products. As many as 12% of the cases could have
been caused by bottled water.
Dr Evans said: "This is a hypothesis that
needs to be looked at more closely. These are early findings which suggest there
may be a link here (with bottled water) and I think it is important that it is
investigated further. It is certainly plausible because, unlike tap water, it
does not go through any chemical processing."
The campylobacter bug, though
not so well known as other food infectors such as salmonella and E-coli, strikes
thousands of people every year. In most cases it causes stomach pain and diarrhoea.
Jacobius, from the Natural Mineral Water Service, said the research had failed
to differentiate between mineral water ?which has to come from a protected underground
source ?and other types of spring water.
She said: "Natural mineral water
has to come from a clean, unpolluted source."
Richard Laming, from the
British Soft Drinks Association, insisted there was no evidence that water was
causing food poisoning.
He said producers were compelled under the Food Safety
Act to test for the presence of organisms and withhold any contaminated water
However, Dr Iain Ogden, from the medical microbiology department
at Aberdeen University, said it was possible for campylobacter to slip through
the testing net.
BOTTLED water could be a significant source of bacterial infection,
according to new research.
A study by scientists at the University of Wales
and Cardiff public health laboratory suggests that, although under-cooked poultry
is by far the biggest source, contaminated mineral water may account for more
than one in 10 cases of campylobacter, the UK's big-gest cause of food poisoning.
Dr Meirion Evans, of the department of epidemiology, who led the research, said:
"What we have found is that it does appear that people who have been infected
by campylobacter are more likely to have drunk mineral water than those who have
not been infected. That suggests the possibility that some cases may be associated
with drinking bottled water."
Dr Evans agreed that most people assume
that mineral water is safer than tap water. However, he added: "In most parts
of the UK tap water has been chemically processed, whereas the mineral water you
find in bottles is as it comes. Though mineral water is inherently safer than
most sources of tap water it could be contaminated in processing or bottling."
researchers examined 200 cases of food poisoning, collecting details of what the
sufferers had eaten and drunk, where they had been, and whether or not they had
been in contact with farm animals.
They compared their findings with a control
group, none of whom had food poisoning. The results, published in the US-based
specialist science journal, Emerging Infectious Disease, showed that more than
30% of cases could be attributed to contaminated chicken and 21% to raw salad
products. As many as 12% of the cases could have been caused by bottled water.
Evans said: "This is a hypothesis that needs to be looked at more closely.
These are early findings which suggest there may be a link here (with bottled
water) and I think it is important that it is investigated further. It is certainly
plausible because, unlike tap water, it does not go through any chemical processing."
campylobacter bug, though not so well known as other food infectors such as salmonella
and E-coli, strikes thousands of people every year. In most cases it causes stomach
pain and diarrhoea.
Jo Jacobius, from the Natural Mineral Water Service, said
the research had failed to differentiate between mineral water ?which has to come
from a protected underground source ?and other types of spring water.
"Natural mineral water has to come from a clean, unpolluted source."
Laming, from the British Soft Drinks Association, insisted there was no evidence
that water was causing food poisoning.
He said producers were compelled under
the Food Safety Act to test for the presence of organisms and withhold any contaminated
water from sale.
However, Dr Iain Ogden, from the medical microbiology department
at Aberdeen University, said it was possible for campylobacter to slip through
the testing net.
criticise e-coli recall
- The US agriculture department's investigation into last year's ConAgra Foods
meat recall has heavily criticised both the plant and the USDA's Food Safety and
Inspection Service (FSIS) for the handling of the E-coli outbreak.
by the USDA to cause more than 46 illnesses in 16 states, more than 18 million
pounds of ground beef had to be recalled with the vast majority of the meat never
being accounted for.
"Our audit found that neither ConAgra nor FSIS effectively
fulfilled their responsibilities. Data was available to both ConAgra and FSIS
in the period prior to the recall that indicated E. coli 0157:H7 contamination
was becoming a continuous problem at ConAgra," said the US report.
year lawmakers criticized the USDA, saying that weeks before the July recall,
federal meat inspectors knew the plant in Colorado repeatedly tested positive
for E. coli 0157:H7 but did nothing.
The independent arm of the USDA prepared
the investigative report at the request of californian representative Henry Waxman
and other democrats who claimed that the recall was ineffective and inefficient
noting that only 3 million pounds of the recalled meat was recovered by the end
of January 2003.
The bacteria, which can be deadly for the elderly and very
young, was found in at least 63 tests conducted by the plant in 2002, the report
said. But federal meat inspectors did not intervene because they believed the
FSIS had no authority to review vtests conducted by the plant.
spokesman for Swift & Co. who bought the plant off ConAgra after the incident
said the Colorado plant followed all measures prescribed by the USDA, and made
its internal E. coli test results available to meat inspectors.
every point in the recall process, our company responded promptly to the USDA
to ensure the swift recall of affected products as well as to implement changes
to our production processes to ensure the highest level of product safety,"
said Jim Herlihy a company spokesman.
plant is claimed to have adopted new technology to kill foodborne pathogens, including
a hot water spray that virtually sterilizes each carcass before it is processed
into ground beef.
FSIS has also claimed it has tightened procedures to better protect public health
since the recall last summer, adopting a speedier process to identify suppliers
of contaminated meat after it is discovered by consumers.
FSIS claim the rate of positive test samples at meat plants was 0.32 percent so
far this year, down from 0.78 percent in 2002.
from: Bakery and Snacks
- Having just published its annual report for 2002, the Food Safety Authority
of Ireland has outlined a number of key issues it hopes to concentrate on in the
Caulfield, chairman of the food safety consultative council, stated that the councils
objective was to provide feedback to the FSAI on the views, opinions and recommendations
from the group, in order to outline the key priorities for the future.
priorities for 2003/2004 include highlighting the importance of the safety/quality
of drinking water supplies; promoting a food labelling system that best protects
consumer health and interests; assisting the FSAI in lobbying for the remit of
on-farm food safety activities to cover the entire food chain and promoting the
need for increased research and information on the potential benefits of reducing
acrylamide in our food supply," he said.
council also announced details of its second open council meeting, which is taking
place on the 13th November in Maryborough House Hotel, Cork and is open to members
of the public and interested parties. It will provide an opportunity for people
to raise concerns, issues or queries on food safety issues.
2002 report of the Consultative Council details its work during the year. It highlights
a number of areas the Council discussed and commissioned reports on. These include
a number of food related issues including Johnes disease in cattle; commissioning
data on attitudes of consumers and the food industry to food safety; the quality
of public and private water supplies and discussing the issue of artisan/small
producers and the obstacles to developing a food business in relation to food
FSAI consultative council was established in mid 2001. It meets quarterly and
comprises 22 members representing a broad range of interests drawn from all sectors
of the food industry and consumers. It acts as a forum for debate on food safety
issues and provides input to the FSAI boards agenda. The council through the course
of its meetings examines segments of the food chain from farm to fork to review
the food safety initiatives already in place and those required to ensure consumers?interests
are to the forefront.
FSAI publishes the minutes of its consultative council meetings on www.fsai.ie.
over acrylamide levels in foodstuffs arose in April 2002 when scientists in Sweden
discovered unexpectedly high levels of this potentially carcinogenic compound
in carbohydrate-rich foods heated to high temperatures. The substance, used to
purify water and in other industrial processes, could be found in a range of baked
and fried foods, prompting fears of a food safety problem.
Thirty hospitalized after drinking contaminated water in cen
10/02. At least
22 fall ill after Liuna Gala; Hamilton health offic
10/02. SALMONELLA KIAMBU,
BEEF JERKY - USA (NEW MEXICO) (02
10/02. SALMONELLA KIAMBU, BEEF JERKY - USA
10/02. HEPATITIS A - USA: MULTISTATE OUTBREAK SUSPECTED
Nut allergy girl killed by a curry
10/01. Egg salad sold at OR Safeways blamed
for salmonella outbreak
10/01. Nearly 200 people suffer food poisoning in Vietnam
N.B. CASES OF E. COLI CAUSED BY TWO SEPARATE OUTBREAKS, MEDI
CHECHEN LEADER BETTER AFTER FOOD POISONING
09/30. Louis' Cafe in Duluth linked
to salmonella outbreak
09/30. School canteen puts 400 in hospital
Doctor denies foul play in Popov's poisoning
09/29. 'Crypto' Parasite Spreads
To Kansas City
09/28. Staph bacteria caused food poisoning at Cancer Association
4 Children at Smiths Primary School Catch Shigella
09/28. Chechnya's prime
minister hospitalized with food poisoning
09/27. CRIME SUSPECTED
AS 222 CHINESE CHILDREN HOSPITALIZED WITH FO
New Mexico Firm Recalls Beef Jerky For Possible Salmonella Contamination
Old Santa Fe Trail, Route 66 food products recalled
10/02. Mandalay Trading
Has Recalled Primera Brand, Macapuno Strings
09/30. Consumer Alert: Undeclared
Eggs In Mayonnaise
09/30. Bingham Hill Cheese Company Voluntarily Recalls Blue
09/26. Fay Da Has Recalled Chestnut Bread
09/26. CEYCAN DRIED PRAWNS
may contain chloramphenicol
Food Safety Informaiton
Agency Publishes Reports On Testing Of Uk Shellfish For Toxi
10/03. USDA criticise e-coli recall
10/03. EU tentative on GMO
10/03. A peanut butter sandwich can be a life or death matter
Chronic Wasting Disease found in Black Hills
10/03. 2002 meat recall exposed
perilous gaps in safety net
10/03. Board wants Chili's to recoup costs
Lax enforcement blamed in E. coli case
10/03. Bottled water may cause 10% of
food poisoning cases
10/03. Bottled water 'may cause illness'
US needs leader for on-farm food safety?activists
10/02. THE NATIONAL TURKEY
FEDERATION LAUNCHES HOW TO GUIDE FOR THA
10/02. PARIS COURT DROPS BUFFALO GRILL
10/02. IMPORTED FOOD INFORMATION
10/02. MEAT PLANT INSPECTORS SPEAK OUT; A PROBE INTO AYLMER MEAT PA
Thai Cabinet To Seek THB3.6 Billion Budget For Food Safety S
10/02. EU adopts new rules on food labeling
10/02. Australia opens
$23 million poultry research facility
10/02. Cut diseases, cut costs
Compliance Rate on Ruminant Feed Ban Near 100 Percent, FDA R
10/02. FSAI submits
annual report to minister
10/02. EU may start to lift GMO ban before year-end
10/02. Hunting - Washington, Oregon test free of CWD
10/02. [NZ] Masterton
will be boiling water for a further 11 days
10/02. Stomach bug lurks in most
popular swim spots
10/02. Home is source of half of infectious intestinal illnesses,
10/02. State: Six, not 11, people sickened by salmonella
CHARACTERIZATION FOR PATHOGENS IN FOOD AND WATER: GUI
10/01. ASIA AND PACIFIC
CONFERENCE ON FOOD SAFETY
10/01. FARMS ARE NEXT FOOD-SAFETY FRONTIER, SAYS
10/01. EU COUNTS 92 BLN EURO COST OF MAD COW CRISIS
10/01. BAD MEAT
NOT ONLY SOURCE OF FOOD POISONING
10/01. Studies say solid-food timing key
10/01. Food watchdogs 'need to be more active'
fined for out-of-date food Oct 1 2003
10/01. IFT holds 3rd International Food
Safety & Quality Conference
10/01. Food Sensitivities, Allergies, and Intolerances:
10/01. FDA to hold public meetings on bioterrorism act
10/01. GM debate heats up
10/01. EU crackdown on salmonella
Maize products withdrawn over health fears
10/01. School bans peanuts
Asthma 'may be linked to antibiotics in infancy'
10/01. Antibiotics Linked
to Allergies and Asthma
10/01. [Japan] Over 30 more cows could still be found
with BSE: panel
10/01. Irradiated beef may be coming to Maine schools
Bakery Pays Dough To People Allegedly Poisoned
10/01. Prosecutors get papers
on Prima Meat
10/01. Food safety at the office
10/01. Food poisoning Web
site hurt by lack of attention
09/30. AGENCY CHAIR DELIVERS WOOLDRIDGE
09/30. FDA BUILDING NEW ANIMAL FEED SYSTEM
09/30. HCs & HCCs
- WHAT ARE THEY?
09/30. BIFSCO EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING
TASTE-TEST SUSPECT FOODS, DISCARD THEM; NUTRITION
09/30. BUGS BEWARE: CRYPTOSPORIDIUM
OR GIARDIA HASN'T BEEN IN KELOW
09/30. DOG'S DEATH PROMPTS INSPECTION
Molecule Found In Meat, Milk And Tumors - Study
09/30. NEWS MEDIA AND BIOTERRORISM
NON-HUMAN MOLECULE IS ABSORBED BY EATING RED MEAT ACCORDING
09/30. EU: Commission
welcomes new legislation to combat food-borne
09/30. Action on food-borne diseases
Oslo celebrates food quality
09/30. Transparency for food allergens
Tagging beef eases buyers' BSE worries
09/30. Researchers Identify Botox Receptor
Research suggests way to disarm deadly toxin
09/30. Rosh Hashana fish-cleaning
09/29. SAFETY OF FOOD PRODUCTS
09/29. ZOONOSES: COMMISSIONER
DAVID BYRNE WELCOMES NEW LEGISLATION
09/29. BRITISH COWS, ITALIAN FEED SEEN
AS CAUSE OF MADCOW DISEASE I
09/29. WHAT THE BUTCHER DOESN'T KNOW CAN HURT
09/29. Ex-official fined for food safety violation
09/29. EUí»s food
labeling on food allergens
09/29. California school district bans irradiated
09/28. Sensus safe
09/28. Food analysis symposium
Reshapes Host Cells to Cause Infection
09/28. Anti-indigestion pills blamed
for food allergy cases
09/28. Antacid pills 'trigger allergies'
TREE NUT ORCHARDS AND FOOD SAFETY
09/27. Eat it and weep? Is 5-second rule
09/27. Food [Safety] Q&A -
09/27. Pay More Than Lip Service to
09/27. BAD FEED BELIEVED BEHIND MAD-COW DISASTER
Identify Botox Receptor
As doctors tout the toxin found in Botox for its ability to iron out wrinkles,
calm muscle spasms and treat migraine headaches, defense agencies condemn it as
a weapon that could wipe out large numbers of civilians.While
it is well known that this toxic substance can paralyze the body's muscles, including
the ones that help us breathe, how it infiltrates cells to do this has not been
determined. In a paper
published in the Sept. 29 issue of the Journal of Cell Biology, researchers from
the University of Wisconsin-Madison answer this long-standing question. They identify
a receptor - a route of entry - for the Botox toxin that could lead to improved
uses of the substance in the medical field and new methods for neutralizing it
in the event of biological warfare. Botulinum
neurotoxin - the toxin found in Botox - is the deadliest of all substances. Produced
by different strains of a family of bacteria, it comes in seven forms, four of
which are reported to cause the paralyzing and potentially fatal disease of botulism.
Currently, the family of bacteria that produces these toxins is listed by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as having the greatest potential for
mass casualties if used as a biological weapon. "Botulism
is an old disease," says Edwin Chapman, a UW-Madison physiology professor
and senior author of the new paper. "We know how the toxins block the release
of neurotransmitters from neurons, but we didn't know how they entered the neurons
in the first place." Whether
inhaled or injected, the deadly toxins head straight for neurons, or nerve cells.
Via a binding receptor on the surface of these cells, the toxins are brought inside
where they block the release of neurotransmitters, chemicals that control muscle
contraction and relaxation. "The
way they kill," explains Chapman, "is by inactivating the diaphragm
so you no longer can draw a breath." The
receptor that pulls the toxins inside the nerve cells has puzzled scientists.
Chapman says researchers have known that gangliosides - a special type of lipid
- and proteins work together as a receptor, but no one until now has been able
to identify the specific proteins. Using
a cellular model, Chapman, physiology and neuroscience graduate student Min Dong
and others identified two proteins that function alongside gangliosides as the
receptor for botulinum neurotoxin B - one of the four types deadly to humans.
The proteins are synaptotagmin, or syt, I and II, which are found in certain types
of neurons. When one
of these two proteins extends itself outside the cell during a process called
exocytosis, the toxin latches on and then is internalized during the process of
endocytosis. To confirm
that this protein and lipid pair is the actual physiological target of the toxin
once it enters the body, the Wisconsin researchers set aside cell cultures and
turned to a live mouse model. Working with their colleagues, Michael Goodnough
and Eric Johnson in the Department of Food Microbiology and Toxicology, the researchers
once again found that the toxin binds to and enters the cell via these two proteins
and gangliosides. "Our
study is the first to identify a receptor for one of the botulinum neurotoxins
and establish its entry route," says Dong, first author of the paper. "This
knowledge will improve both the medical application of the [neurotoxin] and the
prevention of a [biological] threat." Knowledge
of this receptor already had led to new research findings that suggest a possible
antidote for the toxin. As
described in the paper published September 29, Dong has developed decoys that
effectively neutralize one type of the neurotoxin. Specifically, he created fragments
of the syt II protein that contain the toxin's binding site. In
collaboration with Goodnough and Johnson, these fragments, along with gangliosides,
were injected into the bloodstream of mice recently exposed to the toxin. The
researchers found that the fragments neutralized most of toxic substance; injecting
the fragments one minute prior to exposure neutralized 70 to 80 percent of the
toxin. As Chapman explains,
"The fragments are a protective agent - a scavenger - that prevents the toxin
from reaching its target." These
findings, says Dong, not only confirm the results from the cell culture studies
but also provide some of the first evidence that identification of the receptor
could play an integral role in developing measures that counteract the bacterial
toxin, thereby safeguarding human lives against exposure to the lethal poison.The
fragment composed of the syt II protein is being patented by the Wisconsin Alumni
Research Foundation, a non-profit agency that manages intellectual property for
Dong and others are working to identify receptors for the other types of botulinum
neurotoxin fatal to humans.This
story has been adapted from a news release issued by University Of Wisconsin-Madison.
Reshapes Host Cells to Cause Infection
bacteria infect more than a billion people each year worldwide. Rockefeller scientists
have identified the mechanism by which the bacteria use a protein to hijack intestinal
cells' own structural chemistry and sneak inside. Salmonella, a well-known food-borne
bacterium, uses protein "staples" to restructure the shape of the gut
cells it invades, forcing these cells to flow around the bacteria and engulf them,
researchers at Rockefeller University have discovered
The research, published
in the September 26 issue of the journal Science, provides the first detailed
insight into how bacteria physically manipulate host cells at the onset of an
attack. The findings may help scientists develop a more general understanding
of similar strategies used by a diverse array of deadly bacteria and lead to improved
drugs for fighting them. Collaborating with researchers at the University of Virginia
Health Sciences Center, the Rockefeller team found that Salmonella injects proteins
into host cells that staple together molecules of actin, the scaffolding protein
that provides structure to a cell. Like welding girders to each other to construct
a skyscraper, Salmonella proteins tack actin into long filaments that expand the
size and change the contour of a cell so it can fold itself around the bacterium.The
protein that staples actin together ?the Salmonella invasion protein A (SipA)
?is unlike any molecule found in the human body, the researchers say."No
protein in our cells is quite as potent, or elegant, as SipA," says the lead
author, Assistant Professor C. Erec Stebbins, Ph.D., head of the Laboratory of
Structural Microbiology at Rockefeller University. "One small protein is
able to go into a host cell, hijack its biochemistry and rearrange its structure.
That's a powerful example of host-pathogen co-evolution.""Erec Stebbins
and his colleagues have made a crucial discovery that may lead to the development
of better drugs to treat this major threat to human health and well-being,"
says Rockefeller University's new president, Paul Nurse, Ph.D.The research helps
complete the picture of what happens when Salmonella infects the human intestinal
tract - which it does frequently. Worldwide Salmonella bacteria cause more than
one billion new human infections each year, resulting in more than three million
deaths. Most infections are due to errant consumption of food contaminated with
animal feces, but because Salmonella has also been used as a biological weapon,
the pathogen is classified as a food and water safety threat in biodefense by
the National Institutes of Health.Stebbins and his colleagues are among the first
researchers to study the intricate interactions that occur between infectious
microbes and host cells at the molecular level. Using techniques adapted from
biochemistry, microbial cell biology and structural biology, Stebbins is developing
a library that will detail the molecular composition of proteins, known as "virulence
factors," that bacteria employ to infect host cells and use its biochemical
machinery to replicate. "Bacteria ranging from plant pathogens to the plague
share a virulence system that is quite similar to the one Salmonella uses to gain
entry into cells," he says. These bacteria use a protein "secretion
system" called "type III" or "contact dependent" to inject
virulence factors directly into host cells. "Bacteria have a whole armament
of very sophisticated virulence proteins, and each pathogen can use these proteins
in different combinations to manipulate a host cell in unique ways," says
Stebbins. The system used by Salmonella, which has been described as a "molecular
syringe" with a needle attached, is one of the most complex protein secretion
systems discovered, Stebbins says. Once Salmonella attaches to a cell in the gut
it wants to invade, it uses the syringe and needle system to inject virulence
factors into the host cell. Researchers knew that SipA, one of the proteins injected
into the host cell, could force actin proteins to join together into a strong
filament that rearranged the cell's structure, but the way in which it did that
was not known. To find the answer, the researchers used biophysical imaging techniques
that produce molecular pictures of the virulence molecules: the Rockefeller scientists
used X-ray crystallography to get an atomic resolution structure of SipA, and
the Virginia researchers developed an electron microscopy image of SipA-actin
filaments - an arrangement too large and diverse to crystallize. The two images
were then combined in such a way that the scientists could superimpose the SipA
structure upon the larger and less detailed electron microscopy representation,
and through extensive image processing, tease apart the role that SipA plays in
forming filaments. They found that SipA is shaped like a molecular staple, with
a rounded middle and two extending arms that project from either side of the molecule.
The middle core of the SipA molecule binds to actin and positions the long arms
so that they reach about and tether together more distant actin molecules, holding
the filament together. Removing the arms produced SipA proteins that lost this
ability. "Actin is dynamic, and can be floating as free molecules in the
cell or in small chains. SipA drives all the actin to link together and form a
lot of scaffolding underneath the attached bacterium," Stebbins says. By
building the actin girders, SipA forces the host cell to expand into a shape that
resembles curtain ruffles, which then surrounds the bacterium. Through a process
called macropinocytosis Salmonella is taken inside the host cell and replicates
itself to spread the infection. "Salmonella is very well adapted, and quite
sophisticated," Stebbins says. "It induces its own uptake into a host
cell, but once inside, it sends out proteins that turn off the effects induced
by SipA and other virulence factors." Findings from the study will allow
researchers to probe how other bacteria use virulence factors similar to SipA
to change te shape of cells they infect. "While SipA is specific to Salmonella,
many bacterial pathogens use their own virulence proteins to manipulate actin
in the cytoplasm," Stebbins says. "What we have learned about Salmonella
is a first step in a coming molecular understanding of similar processes in many
bacteria. This field of study is really coming of age."
how pathogens invade human cells may ultimately aid in the design of novel antibiotics,
which is increasingly important given the rise of antibiotic resistance, Stebbins
says.The study was funded
by grants from the National Institutes of Health and a Burroughs-Welcome Investigators
in Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease award to Stebbins. The first author is Mirjana
Lilic, Ph.D., of Rockefeller University, and co-authors at the Department of Biochemistry
and Molecular Genetics at the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center include:
Vitold E. Galkin, Ph.D., Albina Orlova, Margaret S. VanLoock, and Edward H. Egelman,
least 22 fall ill after Liuna Gala; Hamilton health officials are investigating
outbreak of gastro-intestinal illness
October 2, 2003
Hamilton, Ontario health officials are, according to
this story, investigating an outbreak of gastro- intestinal illness among at least
22 people who attended or worked at a gala YWCA fundraising dinner at Liuna Station
Dr. Monir Taha, Hamilton's associate Medical Officer of Health,
was cited as saying the investigation began Tuesday afternoon although no conclusions
have been drawn as to what caused people to become ill with abdominal symptoms.
story explains that about 375 guests attended the gala and about 40 Liuna staff
worked at the event.
Guests and two Liuna staff members who became ill felt
symptoms within 12 to 24 hours of the dinner.
Taha said the banquet and convention
hall on James Street North is co- operating fully with the investigation.
Persi, executive director of Liuna Station, was cited as saying the banquet hall
notified the city's health protection branch as soon as it received the first
e-mail reports of illness from event organizers at 3 p.m. Tuesday. Organizers
had heard from about 20 people.Staff were also directed to put together a list
of suppliers Liuna Station received food from for the dinner, which was cooked
in the banquet hall's own kitchen.Persi said nothing on the menu, which included
pumpkin soup, chicken Kiev, vegetables and dessert, was precooked from outside.