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The Potential Risk Posed by Waterfowl for the Introduction of Foodborne Pathogens to Agricultural Environments


This project focuses on identifying the potential risk posed by waterfowl for the introduction and dissemination of antimicrobial-resistant organisms and Salmonella to agricultural systems in Ontario. Specifically, it will accomplish the following objectives:
Compare the quality of data obtained from sportsmen/hunters and the CCWHC (Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre), in terms of the geographical coverage, types of locations (e.g., wild vs. agricultural), specimen quality, and completeness of epidemiological data (i.e., species, age, and group identifiers) to determine their suitability for disease surveillance; </li>
<li> Determine the prevalence and risk factors for the carriage of these pathogens in waterfowl with risk factors including age, species, geographical region and type of location while controlling and measuring the effect of clustering by feeding group; </li> <LI>
Evaluate the threat posed by these birds to biosecurity at the farm- and regional-levels by comparing levels and patterns of carriage between waterfowl and those available for agricultural animal species in Ontario. </li></ol>

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Expected Benefits <br/>
The examination of foodborne pathogens carried by waterfowl will allow for the identification of potential threats to biosecurity and food-safety for agricultural animals and people in Ontario. Waterfowl may have an important role in the introduction and dissemination of these bacteria among farms and regions. Identifying the potential role of these birds in the transmission of antimicrobial-resistant organisms and Salmonella will have important impacts on risk assessments and foodborne disease control programs.

Pearl, David
University of Guelph
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