Diana Carychao

University of California, Davis, Davis, California, United States

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Publications (8)30.38 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: SUMMARY Our goal was to identify climate variables and management practices associated with the presence of E. coli O157 in rangeland cow-calf operations located in a major leafy green production region in the California Central Coast. E. coli O157 was present in 2·6% (68/2654) of faecal, 1·5% (3/204) of water and 1·1% (1/93) of sediment samples collected on eight ranches over 2.5 years. Five (62·5%) ranches were positive at least once during the study. The odds of detecting E. coli O157 in faecal samples was higher during periods of higher maximum soil temperature, higher maximum relative humidity, and larger herd sizes, but decreased as wind speed increased. Molecular subtyping of isolates from cattle faeces and streams/sediments suggested minimal movement of strains between ranches. The findings suggest that E. coli O157 prevalence is relatively low on cow-calf ranches in this region, spatially constrained, but may vary by weather conditions and herd size.
    Epidemiology and Infection 03/2014; · 2.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Two enrichment methods for Listeria monocytogenes using Immuno Magnetic Separation (IMS) were tested to determine if they selected the same subtypes of isolates. Both methods used a non-selective primary enrichment and one included subculture in Fraser Broth, while the other involved direct plating of IMS beads. Sixty-two naturally contaminated watershed samples from the Central California Coast were used as a source of L. monocytogenes, and subtype diversity was measured by serotype and Multiple Number Variable Tandem Repeat Analysis (MLVA). Three different serotypes were detected from both methods with serotype 4b strains making up 87% of the isolates, serotype 1/2a making up 8%, and serotype 1/2b making up 5%. The data suggest that serotype 1/2a strains were more likely to be isolated from the Fraser Broth culture method. Sixty-two different MLVA types were detected and the more common MLVA types were detected by both culture methods. Forty-three MLVA types were detected only from one culture method or the other, while 19 types were detected from both culture methods. The most common MLVA type-12 was detected in 33 of the 62 water samples, and represented 31% of the isolates from both culture methods. This limited study provides evidence that using both enrichment culture methods allowed for detection of a greater diversity of isolates among the samples than the use of one method alone, and that a wide diversity of L. monocytogenes strains exist in this watershed.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(3):e92467. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Irrigation with water of poor microbiological quality can elevate levels of bacteria on produce. This study aimed to identify climate and management variables associated with generic Escherichia coli in irrigation water on leafy green produce farms and to measure the prevalence of E. coli O157 and Salmonella spp. in irrigation and non-irrigation water sources on these farms. Water and sediment samples collected from various points along irrigation systems, as well as from streams and ponds on farms on the Central California coast between May 27th, 2008 and October 26th, 2010 were cultured for generic E. coli (MPN/100mL or cfu 100g) (n=436), E. coli O157 (n=437), and (n=163) Salmonella. Variables were based on grower's management practices, landscape features in proximity to samples (e.g., distance to roads and ranches/livestock), and climate data accessed from an online database. Negative binomial regression models were constructed to test associations between generic E. coli (MPN/100mL) in water from farms and variables. Arithmetic mean concentration of E. coli for water, not including those from Moore swabs, and sediment samples, was 7.1×10(2)MPN/100mL and 1.0×10(4)cfu/100g, respectively. Matched by collection day, E. coli concentration in sediment (cfu/100g) was typically 10- to 1000-fold higher than the overlying water (MPN/100mL) for these irrigation systems. Generic E. coli concentration (MPN/100mL) increased by 60.1% for each 1m/s increase in wind speed and decreased by 3% for each 10m increase in the distance between the sample location and rangeland. Moore swabs detected a higher proportion of E. coli O157 (13.8%) positive water samples compared to grab samples (1.8%); 1.7% of sediment samples had detectable levels of this pathogen. Interestingly, season was not significantly associated with E. coli O157 presence in water or sediments from produce farms or water sources with public access. Salmonella was detected in 6% (6/96) water and 4.3% (3/67) sediment samples. Generic E. coli concentration was not significantly associated with the presence of either E. coli O157 or Salmonella in water or sediment samples, suggesting that, for this 2.5-year period and geographical location, generic E. coli would likely be an unreliable indicator bacteria for predicting the presence of these food- and waterborne pathogens in a key produce production environment.
    International journal of food microbiology 04/2013; 165(1):65-76. · 3.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: During a 2.5-year survey of 33 farms and ranches in a major leafy greens production region in California, 13,650 produce, soil, livestock, wildlife, and water samples were tested for Shiga toxin (stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). Overall, 357 and 1,912 samples were positive for E. coli O157:H7 (2.6%) or non-O157 STEC (14.0%), respectively. Isolates differentiated by O-typing ELISA and multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) resulted in 697 O157:H7 and 3,256 non-O157 STEC isolates saved for further analysis. Cattle (7.1%), feral swine (4.7%), sediment (4.4%), and water (3.3%) samples were positive for E. coli O157:H7; 7/32 birds, 2/145 coyotes, 3/88 samples from elk also were positive. Non-O157 STEC were at approximately 5-fold higher incidence compared to O157 STEC: cattle (37.9%), feral swine (21.4%), birds (2.4%), small mammals (3.5%), deer or elk (8.3%), water (14.0%), sediment (12.3%), produce (0.3%) and soil adjacent to produce (0.6%). stx1, stx2 and stx1/stx2 genes were detected in 63%, 74% and 35% of STEC isolates, respectively. Subtilase, intimin and hemolysin genes were present in 28%, 25% and 79% of non-O157 STEC, respectively; 23% were of the "Top 6″ O-types. The initial method was modified twice during the study revealing evidence of culture bias based on differences in virulence and O-antigen profiles. MLVA typing revealed a diverse collection of O157 and non-O157 STEC strains isolated from multiple locations and sources and O157 STEC strains matching outbreak strains. These results emphasize the importance of multiple approaches for isolation of non-O157 STEC, that livestock and wildlife are common sources of potentially virulent STEC, and evidence of STEC persistence and movement in a leafy greens production environment.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(6):e65716. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Curli are adhesive fimbriae of Enterobacteriaceae and are involved in surface attachment, cell aggregation, and biofilm formation. Here, we report that both inter- and intrastrain variations in curli production are widespread in enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7. The relative proportions of curli-producing variants (C(+)) and curli-deficient variants (C(-)) in an E. coli O157:H7 cell population varied depending on the growth conditions. In variants derived from the 2006 U.S. spinach outbreak strains, the shift between the C(+) and C(-) subpopulations occurred mostly in response to starvation and was unidirectional from C(-) to C(+); in variants derived from the 1993 hamburger outbreak strains, the shift occurred primarily in response to oxygen depletion and was bidirectional. Furthermore, curli variants derived from the same strain displayed marked differences in survival fitness: C(+) variants grew to higher concentrations in nutrient-limited conditions than C(-) variants, whereas C(-) variants were significantly more acid resistant than C(+) variants. This difference in acid resistance does not appear to be linked to the curli fimbriae per se, since a csgA deletion mutant in either a C(+) or a C(-) variant exhibited an acid resistance similar to that of its parental strain. Our data suggest that natural curli variants of E. coli O157:H7 carry several distinct physiological properties that are important for their environmental survival. Maintenance of curli variants in an E. coli O157:H7 population may provide a survival strategy in which C(+) variants are selected in a nutrient-limited environment, whereas C(-) variants are selected in an acidic environment, such as the stomach of an animal host, including that of a human.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 06/2011; 77(11):3685-95. · 3.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis (MLVA) is used for source tracking Escherichia coli O157:H7 in agricultural environments. Tandem repeats were stable after limited replication but changed after exposure to irradiation, elevated temperatures, and starvation conditions. The pO157 plasmid was frequently lost under these stress conditions. Environmental stresses may increase phylogenetic diversity as measured by MLVA.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 03/2010; 76(10):3398-400. · 3.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated involvement of feral swine in contamination of agricultural fields and surface waterways with Escherichia coli O157:H7 after a nationwide outbreak traced to bagged spinach from California. Isolates from feral swine, cattle, surface water, sediment, and soil at 1 ranch were matched to the outbreak strain.
    Emerging infectious diseases 01/2008; 13(12):1908-11. · 5.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fresh vegetables have become associated with outbreaks caused by Escherichia coli O157:H7 (EcO157). Between 1995-2006, 22 produce outbreaks were documented in the United States, with nearly half traced to lettuce or spinach grown in California. Outbreaks between 2002 and 2006 induced investigations of possible sources of pre-harvest contamination on implicated farms in the Salinas and San Juan valleys of California, and a survey of the Salinas watershed. EcO157 was isolated at least once from 15 of 22 different watershed sites over a 19 month period. The incidence of EcO157 increased significantly when heavy rain caused an increased flow rate in the rivers. Approximately 1000 EcO157 isolates obtained from cultures of>100 individual samples were typed using Multi-Locus Variable-number-tandem-repeat Analysis (MLVA) to assist in identifying potential fate and transport of EcO157 in this region. A subset of these environmental isolates were typed by Pulse Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) in order to make comparisons with human clinical isolates associated with outbreak and sporadic illness. Recurrence of identical and closely related EcO157 strains from specific locations in the Salinas and San Juan valleys suggests that transport of the pathogen is usually restricted. In a preliminary study, EcO157 was detected in water at multiple locations in a low-flow creek only within 135 meters of a point source. However, possible transport up to 32 km was detected during periods of higher water flow associated with flooding. During the 2006 baby spinach outbreak investigation, transport was also detected where water was unlikely to be involved. These results indicate that contamination of the environment is a dynamic process involving multiple sources and methods of transport. Intensive studies of the sources, incidence, fate and transport of EcO157 near produce production are required to determine the mechanisms of pre-harvest contamination and potential risks for human illness.
    PLoS ONE 01/2007; 2(11):e1159. · 3.53 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

212 Citations
30.38 Total Impact Points


  • 2013
    • University of California, Davis
      Davis, California, United States
  • 2011–2013
    • United States Department of Agriculture
      • Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
      Fort Collins, CO, United States
  • 2008
    • California Department of Public Health
      Richmond, California, United States