Friday Sep 26, 2008 (foodconsumer.org) -- Farmed animals
like cattle and chicken are the major sources of food poisoning caused by a type
of bacterium called Campylobacter jejuni, according to results of new DNA tests
which appear on September 26 in the open-access journal PLoS Genetics.
C. jejuni is responsible for more cases of
gastroenteritis in the developed countries than any other bacterial pathogen
like E. coli, Salmonella, Clostridium, and Listeria combined, The University of
Chicago Medical Center says in a press release.
Previous research suggests that both wild and domestic
animals are the natural sources for the pathogens, which can survive in water
The current study led by Daniel Wilson at the University
of Chicago sequenced the DNA of bacteria from 1,231 patients and compared it to
C. jejuni DNA sequences in bacteria collected from wild and domestic animals
and the environment.
DAN sequencing results indicated that 57 percent of the
bacteria could be traced to chicken, 35 percent to cattle and the remaining
three percent to wild animal and environmental sources.
"The dual observations that livestock are a frequent
source of human disease isolates and that wild animals and the environment are
not, strongly support the notion that preparation or consumption of infected
meat and poultry is the dominant transmission route," Wilson said.
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