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Detection and Molecular Characterisation of Selected Pathogenic Organisms Isolated in Unpasteurised Milk using Milk Filters


<OL> <LI> Determine likely extent of contamination of raw milk, particularly in the Cork region, with Salmonella, pathogenic E. coli and MAP.
<LI> Develop rapid molecular methods for these organisms with a potential for commercial application in the food industry.
<LI> Apply techniques developed to assist with epidemiological analysis in disease outbreaks and compare the molecular characteristics of the selected pathogens from human, animal and food chain sources.
<LI> Highlight the public health implications in relation to the epidemiological profiles of the pathogens identified.
<LI> Examine the rate of acquisition and dissemination of antimicrobial resistance genes in Salmonella and pathogenic E. coli.
<LI> Report the level of consumption of unpasteurised milk in dairy production holdings in the Cork region and determine the age profile of family members in the susceptible age category for infection with the described pathogens.
<LI> Establish the sub-clinical disease status of the herds in the production holdings surveyed.

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Progress: Viable MAP has been found in the milk filters (n=~500) and have been stored for characterization. Necrotoxigenic E. coli has also been isolated. A colony hybridization method is currently being developed which should aid isolation. A questionnaire has been completed but the results have not yet been subjected to analysis. It is envisaged that a further questionnaire will be completed towards the end of the project in the light of the responses to the initial questionnaire. Other pathogenic strains of E. coli and other pathogens have been isolated but await characterization.

Queen's University - Belfast
Cork County Council
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