<OL> <LI> Determine the prevalence of Cl. difficile and MRSA in 4 contrasting pork slaughter lines.
<LI> Establish the carriage and dissemination of Cl. difficile and MRSA throughout pork production and processing.
<LI> Characterize the isolates recovered for type and extent of toxin production, in addition to antibiotic resistance.
<LI> Perform ribotyping, rep-PCR and toxinotyping on the isolates to determine genetic structure (diversity. temporal stability and geographical structure) and hypervirulent (toxin producing) strains implicated and significance to human health.
<LI> Isolate and characterize lytic bacteriophage against Cl. difficile and MRSA.
The new knowledge generated by the study will be:
<OL> <LI> Sources and dissemination of Cl. difficile and MRSA within different capacity slaughter lines.
<LI> To determine the fate of Cl. difficile and MRSA associated with pigs during production and processing.
<LI> Isolation and characterization of Cl. difficle and MRSA infecting bacteriophage.
Expected Benefits: To provide a detailed picture of the prevalence, sources and routes of CI difficile and MRSA in pork production. The results will provide risk analysis data to support the implementation of effective intervention strategies within the food sector.
<P> For more information, please visit the <a href="http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/research/foodsafety/index.html" target="_blank">Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) Food Safety Research Program</a>.