Salmonella, Listeria, STEC and other foodborne related bacterial pathogens isolated from retail meat, fresh produce and their environment have been implicated as the leading causes of bacterial foodborne illness in the US and around the world. It is important that we monitor the prevalence and trends of important foodborne bacterial strains in food products that can eventually pass to the consumers along the farm-to- fork chain resulting in significant public health impact. An important aim should be to expand the current surveillance network and monitor these important pathogens at the global scale to prevent future outbreaks. We propose to coordinate the GenomeTrakr WGS based surveillance program in partnership with the Pasteur Institute in Senegal to conduct surveillance of antimicrobial resistant foodborne bacterial pathogens using the `One Health? approach in humans, food products and the environment. Or extensive global network globally has allowed us to expand the GenomeTrakr program internationally. We strongly believe that the data generated through the proposed work will assist in monitoring Salmonella, Listeria, STEC and other foodborne related bacterial pathogens globally, where current surveillance systems are not robust enough to track them. The WGS data and metadata will significantly improve the power to resolve outbreaks by helping to quickly link clinical and retail product samples and assist in outbreak investigations. The PD (Dr. Thakur) laboratory, in partnership with the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDACS), is a GenomeTrakr collaborating laboratory. Our proposal will significantly assist us in tracking emergence of potential new Salmonella, Listeria and STEC and other foodborne related bacterial strains and allow the public health agencies to take appropriate steps to safeguard human and animal health at the global level. The specific objectives of our proposal are: 1) Establish a robust surveillance system based on whole genome sequence (WGS) profile of 400 Salmonella, Listeria, STEC and other foodborne related bacterial pathogens isolated from food and environmental sources in the US and globally. 2) Compare the WGS profiles of Salmonella, Listeria, STEC and other foodborne related bacterial pathogens at the global scale to assist in outbreak investigations and track emerging strains of public health importance.
The overall objective of our proposal is to protect and promote public health by enhancing and strengthening the surveillance of Salmonella, Listeria, STEC and other foodborne related bacterial pathogens from food and environmental sources in the USA and globally. We propose to conduct this study in collaboration with the Pasteur Institute Senegal network which will allow us to generate WGS profile of bacterial pathogens at the global level. The long-term objective of our proposal is to protect and promote public health by strengthening the surveillance bacterial foodborne pathogens globally and contributing to the GenomeTrakr mission.