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Controlling the Spread of Emerging Salmonella Enterica Serovar Cerro Strains in New York State


<p>While we have obtained some preliminary retrospective data on Salmonella Cerro isolates obtained before approx. 2011, Salmonella Cerro continues to spread and prospective work on this emerging pathogen is essential to
(i) inform and develop control strategies and (ii) understand the mechanisms of pathogen emergence in order to better address future emerging foodborne and zoonotic pathogens.</p>

<p>The specific goals of this project are to prospectively monitor the emergence and spread of Salmonella Cerro in different hosts and environments in NY; identify genetic and phenotypic characteristics associated with the emergence of Salmonella Cerro in NY; and identify host or environmental factors that may facilitate the spread of Cerro.</p>

<p>Our objectives include:

<ol><li>prospectively isolate, characterize, and quantify Salmonella Cerro from different hosts and environments in NYS (AIM 1);</li>
<li>use comparative genomics (whole genome sequencing) and phenotypic assays to identify genomic features associated with the emergence and diversification of Salmonella Cerro (AIM 2);</li>
<li>use geographical information and genome sequencing data from Salmonella Cerro isolates to characterize its spread in hosts and environments in NY (AIM 3).</li></ol></p>

<p>The data generated will be essential to understand the factors that facilitate the emergence and spread of Salmonella Cerro in NYS and to identify strategies that can be used to control this emerging pathogen.</p>

More information

<p>For AIM 1, we will collect Salmonella Cerro isolates from (i) cows with or without clinical disease (longitudinal quantification to assess the shedding); (ii) produce environments, wildlife feces and natural environments, (iii) foods and food processing plants; (iv) human cases. All isolates will be characterized by DNA-based subtyping methods (to assess their relationship and whether new subtypes are found) and phenotypic assays, e.g., for production of H2S, which has been linked to growth in the host intestine; bleach resistance (associated with loss of H2S production); invasiveness for human and animal cells.For AIM 2, the whole genome of at least 50 Salmonella Cerro isolates (representing distinct sources, e.g., human, cattle with and without clinical symptoms, produce fields) will be sequenced and analyzed to identify unique features, in comparison to other serotypes. Phenotypic characterization will be conducted to identify potential competitive advantages of different Cerro strains in different environments and hosts.For AIM 3, genome sequence data (from AIM 2) will be used to characterize Cerro isolates to identify subtypes within the serotype. These data will then be analyzed along with Geographical Information System (GIS) coordinates for isolation location to identify specific risk factors for presence or dispersal of Salmonella Cerro (along bird flyways, major waterways etc.). This will help us to provide specific recommendations for farmers how to reduce the risk of Cerro introduction into dairy farms or onto produce fields.</p>

Cornell University
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