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Shedding of foodborne pathogens and microbial carcass contamination of hunted wild ruminants


Obwegeser, T; Stephan, R; Hofer, E; Zweifel, C (2012). Shedding of foodborne pathogens and microbial carcass contamination of hunted wild ruminants. Veterinary Microbiology, 159(1-2):149-154.

Abstract

To assess the shedding of selected bacterial foodborne pathogens, fecal samples from 239 hunted wild red deer, roe deer, chamois, and ibex were examined. All samples tested negative for Salmonella spp. and L. monocytogenes, but other Listeria species were occasionally found. Of the 239 fecal samples, 32.6% tested positive for stx (Shiga toxins), 6.7% for eae (intimin) and 13.8% for both stx and eae genes. Among the 56 isolated Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains, 44.6% harbored genes for the Stx2 group, 30.4% for the Stx1 group, and 21.4% for both Stx1 and Stx2. Only two of these strains harbored eae. Hence, wild ruminants constitute a reservoir for STEC, but further characterization data of the isolated strains are required to assess their actual human pathogenicity. In addition, 328 carcasses from hunted wild red deer, roe deer, and chamois were examined for total viable counts (TVC) and Enterobacteriaceae by swabbing. For the examined animal species, average TVC (4.0-4.2 log CFU cm(-2)) and average Enterobacteriaceae counts/detection rates (2.3-2.6 log CFU cm(-2); 87.5-90%) were at comparable levels. On the other hand, the microbial status of carcasses differed between certain abattoirs by several orders of magnitude. Strict compliance with good hunting and hygiene practices during any step from shooting, through evisceration in the field, to dehiding, cooling, and processing is therefore of central importance to avoid contaminations and to prevent foodborne pathogens carried by the animals from entering the food chain.

Abstract

To assess the shedding of selected bacterial foodborne pathogens, fecal samples from 239 hunted wild red deer, roe deer, chamois, and ibex were examined. All samples tested negative for Salmonella spp. and L. monocytogenes, but other Listeria species were occasionally found. Of the 239 fecal samples, 32.6% tested positive for stx (Shiga toxins), 6.7% for eae (intimin) and 13.8% for both stx and eae genes. Among the 56 isolated Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains, 44.6% harbored genes for the Stx2 group, 30.4% for the Stx1 group, and 21.4% for both Stx1 and Stx2. Only two of these strains harbored eae. Hence, wild ruminants constitute a reservoir for STEC, but further characterization data of the isolated strains are required to assess their actual human pathogenicity. In addition, 328 carcasses from hunted wild red deer, roe deer, and chamois were examined for total viable counts (TVC) and Enterobacteriaceae by swabbing. For the examined animal species, average TVC (4.0-4.2 log CFU cm(-2)) and average Enterobacteriaceae counts/detection rates (2.3-2.6 log CFU cm(-2); 87.5-90%) were at comparable levels. On the other hand, the microbial status of carcasses differed between certain abattoirs by several orders of magnitude. Strict compliance with good hunting and hygiene practices during any step from shooting, through evisceration in the field, to dehiding, cooling, and processing is therefore of central importance to avoid contaminations and to prevent foodborne pathogens carried by the animals from entering the food chain.

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11 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Food Safety and Hygiene
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:27 Feb 2013 14:35
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 20:23
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0378-1135
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2012.03.031
Related URLs:http://www.zora.uzh.ch/75513/
PubMed ID:22503394

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