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Bacterial Pathogens, Viruses, and Foodborne Illness

Bacterial pathogens cause foodborne illness either by infecting the intestinal tissues of humans or by producing bacterial toxins that are transmitted by food. 

On this page, find links to articles, access research projects, watch or read USDA presentations, and identify external resources containing information about bacterial pathogens, viruses, and prions.

Research Publications (Food Safety): Bacterial Pathogens

Research publications on bacterial pathogens from peer-reviewed journals.

Books and Materials on Bacterial Pathogens in the NAL Catalog

National Agricultural Library's (NAL) searchable database for journal citations available to persons interested in information on bacterial pathogens.

Research Projects: Bacterial Pathogens

The Food Safety Research Projects Database (RPD) contains information about research projects related to the study of bacterial pathogens.

Resources by Type of Bacteria

Find information from federal and state governments, and cooperative extension programs about foodborne pathogens such as E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, Cyclospora, and Hepatitis A.

Selected External Resources on Foodborne Pathogens

Bacillus cereus
Campylobacter jejuni
Clostridium botulinum
Clostridium perfringens
Escherichia coli 0157:H7
Listeria monocytogenes
Microbial Ecology of Biofilms

Resources from reports and government websites describes microbial ecology which is how biofilms are formed from various types of bacteria. 

Staphylococcus aureus
Vibrio cholerae
Vibrio parahaemolyticus
Vibrio vulnificus
Yersinia enterocolitica

Meet the Experts

USDA-ARS Scientists Present Overviews of their Research

Cold Plasma technology on leafy greens and fresh produce 

Investigators: Brenden Niemira, PhD

Date: 2024

The ARS Salmonella Grand Challenge and Data Analytics

Investigators: Tatum Katz, PhD

Date: 2024

USDA NIFA Climate Change and Food Safety Ramifications Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon with the NAL Ag Law Partnership

Presenters: Jodi Williams, Ph.D., Sheila Fleischhacker, PhD, JD, RDN

Date: September 2023

Rapid inactivation of Taxoplasma gondibradyzoites in dry cured sausage (Introductory Video)

Investigators: John Luchansky, PhD, Anna Porto-Fett, PhD

Date: 2020

View full-length video of Dr's John Luchansky and Anna Porto-Fett speaking about rapid inactivation of Taxoplasma gondibradyzoites in dry cured sausage []

What's in Your Water?

What's in Your Water? 

Investigators: Manan Sharma, PhD

Date: 2020

Biological Soil Amendments

Biological Soil Amendments

Investigators: Manan Sharma, PhD

Date: 2020


Bacterial Pathogens Presentations

Selected Presentations by USDA and FSIS Scientists at the ARS-FSIS Annual Meetings
ARS - FSIS 2024 Food Safety Meeting
ARS - FSIS 2022 Food Safety Meeting
ARS - FSIS 2020 Food Safety Meeting
ARS - FSIS 2019 Food Safety Meeting
ARS - FSIS 2018 Food Safety Meeting
ARS - FSIS 2017 Food Safety Meeting

Resources by Type of Viruses and Prions

Foodborne and waterborne pathogens such as Trichinella and Cyclospora, as well as virus and prions that cause Avian Influenza (bird flu), Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease), Norwalk and Hepatitis A.

Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
Giardia lamblia

The cause of a gastrointestinal disease from unsafe food handling practices or unsanitary drinking water that are contaminated with the parasite Giardia. 

Hepatitis A

Trichinella occurs from parasitic roundworms in pork or meat products that are undercooked. 

Viruses and Prions Presentations

Selected Presentations by USDA Scientists at the ARS-FSIS Annual Meetings

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