Despite our society's advances in sanitation, food preservation, and hygiene, the prevalence of foodborne disease remains high (12.6 million cases per year in the United States). Although there is a constant need for education of food handlers and consumers, there is also a need for continued vigilant monitoring of coastal waters, meat packing facilities, and imported foods. As long as antibiotics are used in poultry and cattle feeds, one can expect the incidence of antibiotic-resistant foodborne pathogens to rise. There are several promising areas of research in the field of foodborne illnesses. Molecular biologists are actively characterizing the genes that enable invasive enteric pathogens such as Salmonella and Yersinia to enter tissues, and the bacterial toxins associated with secretory diarrheas continue to be the subject of intense scrutiny. Epidemiologists are implementing new techniques such as DNA fingerprinting and multilocus enzyme electrophoresis for tracing pathogens in disease outbreaks. Similarly, the use of computers in the food industry facilitates the tracing of contaminated foods. Although the rates of foodborne illness may not decrease significantly during the next decade, we can expect more rapid identification and tracing of outbreaks as well as an improved understanding of the pathogenesis of the foodborne diseases.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||30|
|Journal||Gastroenterology Clinics of North America|
|State||Published - Sep 24 1993|
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