Jeffrey T LeJeune

The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, United States

Are you Jeffrey T LeJeune?

Claim your profile

Publications (74)157.57 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The cross-sectional (period) prevalence of Clostridium difficile in 875 farm animals from 29 commercial operations during the summer of 2008 in Ohio, USA was quantified. Compared to an external referent population of intensively managed race horses (12.7%), intensively managed commercially mature food animals (poultry, cattle, swine; < 0.6%) were infrequent shedders of C. difficile (P < 0.00001) during the warmest weeks of 2008.
    The Canadian veterinary journal. La revue vétérinaire canadienne. 08/2014; 55(8):786-9.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The objectives of this study were to understand the temporal pattern of contamination of cattle feed by starling excrement on dairy farms and to evaluate the temporal pattern in recovering Escherichia coli O157:H7 or Salmonella in relation to the absolute mass of excrement recovered. A longitudinal study was conducted on 15 dairy farms in Ohio from July 2007 to October 2008. One open-topped tray filled with bird feed was placed near a cattle feeding site; bird excrement from the tray was weighed monthly for 12 consecutive months. Linear regression models with a random intercept for farm were computed to examine the association between the absolute weight of excrement recovered each month or the farm-specific standard score for weight of excrement, and month or season. Exact logistic regression was used to determine whether an association between recovering E. coli O157:H7 or Salmonella was present and the amount of excrement recovered and season. A spatial scan statistic was used to test for evidence of space-time clustering of excrement, based on the standard score for the weight of the excrement, among our study farms. A total of 5 of 179 excrement samples (2.79%) were positive for E. coli O157:H7 and 2 (1.12%) were positive for Salmonella. A significantly higher level of contamination with excrement was observed during the winter. The odds of recovering a pathogen increased with the amount of excrement recovered and decreased if the excrement was collected in the winter. A spatio-temporal cluster of contamination with excrement was detected. These findings provide basic information for future quantitative microbial risk assessments concerning the role of starlings in spreading enteric pathogens on dairy farms.
    Journal of dairy science. 05/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The goal of our study was to use spatial scan statics to determine whether the night roosts of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) act as point sources for the dissemination of Escherichia coli O157:H7 among dairy farms. From 2007 to 2009, we collected bovine faecal samples (n = 9000) and starling gastrointestinal contents (n = 430) from 150 dairy farms in northeastern Ohio, USA. Isolates of E. coli O157:H7 recovered from these samples were subtyped using multilocus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA). Generated MLVA types were used to construct a dendrogram based on a categorical multistate coefficient and unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA). Using a focused spatial scan statistic, we identified statistically significant spatial clusters among dairy farms surrounding starling night roosts, with an increased prevalence of E. coli O157:H7-positive bovine faecal pats, increased diversity of distinguishable MLVA types and a greater number of isolates with MLVA types from bovine-starling clades versus bovine-only clades. Thus, our findings are compatible with the hypothesis that starlings have a role in the dissemination of E. coli O157:H7 among dairy farms, and further research into starling management is warranted.
    Zoonoses and Public Health 11/2013; · 2.09 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract To better understand the epizootiology of Escherichia coli O157:H7 among cattle, all E. coli O157 isolates recovered on a research feedlot during a single feeding period were characterized by multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA). Three distinct MLVA subtypes (A, B, C), accounting for 24%, 15%, and 64% of total isolates, respectively, were identified. Subtypes A and B were isolated at the initiation of sampling, but their prevalence waned and subtype C, first isolated on the third sampling date, became the predominant subtype on the feedlot. Supershedding events, however, occurred with equal frequency for all three MLVA-types. Using a multilevel logistic regression model, we investigated whether the odds of shedding subtype C relative to subtypes A or B were associated with time, diet, or the presence of a penmate shedding high numbers of subtype C. Only time and exposure to an animal shedding MLVA-type C at 10(3) colony-forming units or greater in the pen at the time of sampling were significantly associated with increased shedding of subtype C. High-level shedding of those E. coli O157 subtypes better suited for survival in the environment and/or in the host appear to play a significant role in the development of predominant E. coli O157 subtypes. Supershedding events alone are neither required nor sufficient to drive the epidemiology of specific E. coli O157 subtypes. Additional factors are necessary to direct successful on-farm transmission of E. coli O157.
    Foodborne Pathogens and Disease 07/2013; · 2.28 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Irrigation water is considered a potential source of preharvest pathogen contamination of vegetables. Hence, several organizations have recommended microbiological standards for water used to irrigate edible plants. The purpose of this study was to determine the strength of association between microbial quality indicators (coliforms and Escherichia coli) in irrigation water and on irrigated vegetables. Data analyzed included original results from a cross-sectional study conducted in the Midwestern United States during summer 2009 and information presented in two previously published studies performed in France and Portugal to investigate microbial quality of irrigation water and watered produce. In the cross-sectional study, repetitive PCR (rep-PCR) was used to characterize genetic relatedness of E. coli isolates from water and vegetables. No significant correlations were found between fecal indicators on leafy greens (lettuce and parsley, n = 91) or fruit (tomatoes and green peppers, n = 22) and those found in irrigation water used in the cross-sectional study (P > 0.40) or in the previously published data sets (data set 1: lettuce and waste irrigation water, n = 15, P > 0.40; data set 2: lettuce and irrigation water, n = 32, P = 0.06). Rep-PCR banding patterns of E. coli strains were all distinguishable among the pairs of E. coli isolates recovered from produce and irrigation water on the same farm. From the available data, the concentration of indicator organisms based on a single measure of irrigation water quality was not associated with the presence of these indicators on produce. In the absence of additional information, the use of a single microbial water quality parameter as an indicator of produce safety is of limited value for predicting the safety of the produce.
    Journal of food protection 06/2013; 76(6):959-966. · 1.83 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Knowledge of the behavior and movement patterns of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris L.) is important to wildlife managers that seek to resolve conflicts at livestock facilities. We captured and radio tagged 10 starlings at each of 5 dairies in northeastern Ohio. From September 19 to October 31, 2007, we obtained sufficient data from 40 birds to study their behavior and movements. The birds visited the dairies where they were initially captured (home sites) on 85% of the days, spending 58% of each day at the dairies. Onsite arrival and departure times were 2.5 h after sunrise and 3.1 h before sunset. Daily visits by radio-tagged cohorts from the other dairies were greatest for the 2 most proximate dairies (1.3 km apart), with number of visits between this pairing >7× that of the 9 other pairings combined (4.1-6.5 km apart). Two birds used their home sites intermittently as roosts, arriving 3.8 h before sunset and departing 0.2 h after sunrise. In addition to using home-site roosts, these birds also used a distant roost (22 km) that was used by 36 of the 40 birds. The efficacy of starling management programs, especially lethal management, depends on degree of site fidelity, use of other facilities, and roosting behavior. For example, starlings that use dairies as roosting sites may require a different management strategy than required at dairies used as daytime sites because of differences in arrival and departure behavior. Our research will help resource managers evaluate current management strategies already in place and change them, if needed, to fit the behavior profile of starlings using dairies and other types of livestock facilities.
    Journal of Dairy Science 05/2013; · 2.57 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Many articles have summarized the changing epidemiology of Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) in humans, but the emerging presence of C. difficile in foods and animals and possible measures to reduce human exposure to this important pathogen have been infrequently addressed. CDIs have traditionally been assumed to be restricted to health-care settings. However, recent molecular studies indicate that this is no longer the case; animals and foods might be involved in the changing epidemiology of CDIs in humans; and genome sequencing is disproving person-to-person transmission in hospitals. Although zoonotic and foodborne transmission have not been confirmed, it is evident that susceptible people can be inadvertently exposed to C. difficile from foods, animals, or their environment. Strains of epidemic clones present in humans are common in companion and food animals, raw meats, poultry products, vegetables, and ready-to-eat foods, including salads. In order to develop science-based prevention strategies, it is critical to understand how C. difficile reaches foods and humans. This review contextualizes the current understanding of CDIs in humans, animals, and foods. Based on available information, we propose a list of educational measures that could reduce the exposure of susceptible people to C. difficile. Enhanced educational efforts and behavior change targeting medical and non-medical personnel are needed.
    Animal Health Research Reviews 01/2013;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract Dairy cattle serve as a potential source for Campylobacter infection in humans. Outbreaks associated with consumption of either Campylobacter contaminated raw milk or contaminated milk after treatment were previously recorded in the United States. Further, starlings have been implicated in the spread of bacterial pathogens among livestock. Here, we determined the prevalence, genotypic, and phenotypic properties of Campylobacter isolated from fecal samples of dairy cattle and starlings found on the same establishment in northeastern Ohio. Campylobacter were detected in 83 (36.6%) and 57 (50.4%) out of 227 dairy and 113 starling fecal samples, respectively. Specifically, 79 C. jejuni, five C. coli, and two other Campylobacter spp. were isolated from dairy feces, while all isolates from starlings (n=57) were C. jejuni. Our results showed that the prevalence of C. jejuni in birds was significantly (p<0.01) higher than that in dairy cattle. The pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analysis showed that C. jejuni were genotypically diverse and host restricted; however, there were several shared genotypes between dairy cattle and starling isolates. Likewise, many shared clonal complexes (CC) between dairy cattle and starlings were observed by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis. As in humans, both in cattle and starlings, the CC 45 and CC 21 were the most frequently represented CCs. As previously reported, CC 177 and CC 682 were restricted to the bird isolates, while CC 42 was restricted to dairy cattle isolates. Further, two new sequence types (STs) were detected in C. jejuni from dairy cattle. Interestingly, cattle and starling C. jejuni showed high resistance to multiple antimicrobials, including ciprofloxacin, erythromycin, and gentamicin. In conclusion, our results highlight starlings as potential reservoirs for C. jejuni, and they may play an important role in the epidemiology of clinically important C. jejuni in dairy population.
    Foodborne Pathogens and Disease 12/2012; · 2.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Agricultural water may contact fresh produce during irrigation and/or when crop protection sprays (e.g., cooling to prevent sunburn, frost protection, and agrochemical mixtures) are applied. This document provides a framework for designing research studies that would add to our understanding of preharvest microbial food safety hazards and control measures pertaining to agricultural water. Researchers will be able to use this document to design studies, to anticipate the scope and detail of data required, and to evaluate previously published work. This document should also be useful for evaluating the strength of existing data and thus should aid in identifying future research needs. Use of this document by the research community may lead to greater consistency or comparability than currently exists among research studies, which may ultimately facilitate direct comparison of hazards and efficacy of controls among different commodities, conditions, and practices.
    Journal of food protection 12/2012; 75(12):2251-73. · 1.83 Impact Factor
  • Melanie L. Lewis Ivey, Jeffrey T. LeJeune, Sally A. Miller
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The perspectives, practices and potential gaps in knowledge regarding fresh produce safety hazards among Midwestern US vegetable producers were measured using a survey-based confirmatory assessment. Although the majority of vegetable producers considered themselves familiar with national Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and agreed that implementing GAPs could reduce the risk of produce contamination, they were not consistently practicing GAPs. Irrigation and run-off water, worker hygiene, raw and composted animal manure, wildlife droppings, field proximity to livestock or wildlife habitats, plant diseases and insects were acknowledged as important potential sources of pre-harvest microbial contamination of produce, but paradoxically, producers disagreed that contamination most frequently originated on-farm. There was significant variation in producers’ level of agreement with regard to the importance and economic feasibility of various management practices for the prevention of on-farm food contamination. In general, vegetable producers did not declare an immediate need for more information on food safety, but did nevertheless, indicate that they would like more information on the sources of produce contamination, how contamination occurs, and GAPs guidelines. Vegetable producers preferred in-person modes of communication over mass media, fact sheets or electronic modes, with only 17% having a preference for Internet or email based information. These findings aid in the development and delivery of targeted, science-based, farm management guidelines and knowledge translation programs aimed at enhancing the safety of produce on the farm.
    Food Control 08/2012; 26(2):453–465. · 2.74 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This research intends to refocus the on-farm fresh produce food safety paradigm away from an emphasis on knowledge deficit models and ready-made or tightly-coupled, reductionist solutions toward a loosely-coupled systems approach. The dynamic environment of produce farming and multi-dimensional objectives of produce growers create manifold pathways to address farm-specific food safety concerns. We propose a systems approach to facilitate increased decision making of growers using farm-specific criteria to improve their efforts. Currently, social and psychological dimensions of fresh produce food safety are overlooked in program development with preference given to bio-physical knowledge and technological solutions. In this paper, we describe a comprehensive model that was developed through a formal expert elicitation and literature review for the purpose of enhancing education and policy development and improving the microbiological safety of fresh and fresh cut produce. This model illuminates the intrinsic interrelationships among farm scale, marketing practices, and the need for appropriate food safety interventions. We further discuss how this loosely-coupled systems perspective can both aid our understanding of grower decision making and provide a basis for developing equitable solutions to on-farm food safety issues as part of a social-psychological approach to addressing these issues.
    Food Control. 07/2012; 26(1):107–116.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Our objective was to determine the role that European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) play in the epidemiology of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in dairy cattle. We visited 150 dairy farms in Ohio twice during summer and fall months from 2007 to 2009. Fresh faecal pats from 30 lactating cows were collected during each visit. Information on farm management and environmental variables was gathered through a questionnaire administered to the farm owner. The number of starlings observed on the farm was also recorded. Approximately 1% of dairy cattle and 24% of farms were positive for E. coli O157. Risk factors associated with the presence of E. coli O157 in faecal pats included contact between adult cattle and calves, types or number of ventilation and manure management systems and number of birds per milking cow.
    Zoonoses and Public Health 02/2012; 59(5):320-9. · 2.09 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The invasion associated marker (iam) has been detected in the majority of invasive Campylobacter jejuni retrieved from humans. Furthermore, the detection of iam in C. jejuni isolated from two important hosts, humans and chickens, suggested a role for this marker in C. jejuni's colonization of multiple hosts. However, no data exist regarding the occurrence of this marker in C. jejuni isolated from non-poultry food-animals such as cattle, an increasingly important source for human infections. Since little is known about the genetics associated with C. jejuni's capability for colonizing physiologically disparate hosts, we investigated the occurrence of the iam in C. jejuni isolated from cattle and assessed the potential of iam-containing cattle and human isolates for chicken colonization and human cell invasion. Simultaneous RAPD typing and iam-specific PCR analysis of 129 C. jejuni isolated from 1171 cattle fecal samples showed that 8 (6.2%) of the isolates were iam-positive, while 7 (54%) of human-associated isolates were iam-positive. The iam sequences were mostly heterogeneous and occurred in diverse genetic backgrounds. All iam-positive isolates were motile and possessed important genes (cadF, ciaB, cdtB) associated with adhesion and virulence. Although certain iam-containing isolates invaded and survived in INT-407 cells in high numbers and successfully colonized live chickens, there was no clear association between the occurrence, allelic sequence, and expression levels of the iam and the aforementioned phenotypes. We show that the prevalence of iam in cattle C. jejuni is relatively lower as compared to isolates occurring in humans and chickens. In addition, iam was polymorphic and certain alleles occur in cattle isolates that were capable of colonizing and invading chickens and human intestinal cells, respectively. However, the iam did not appear to contribute to the cattle-associated C. jejuni's potential for invasion and intracellular survival in human intestinal cells as well as chicken colonization.
    BMC Research Notes 12/2011; 4:570.
  • M D Kauffman, J LeJeune
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) are an invasive species in the United States and are considered a nuisance pest to agriculture. The goal of this study was to determine the potential for these birds to be reservoirs and/or vectors for the human pathogen Escherichia coli O157:H7. Under biosecurity confinement, starlings were challenged with various doses of E. coli O157:H7 to determine a minimum infectious dose, the magnitude and duration of pathogen shedding, and the potential of pathogen transmission among starlings and between starlings and cattle. Birds transiently excreted E. coli O157:H7 following low-dose inoculation; however, exposure to greater than 10(5.5) colony-forming units (CFUs) resulted in shedding for more than 3 days in 50% of the birds. Colonized birds typically excreted greater than 10(3) CFU g(-1) of faeces, and the pathogen was detected for as long as 14 days postinoculation. Cohabitating E. coli O157:H7-positive starlings with culture-negative birds or 12-week-old calves resulted in intra- and interspecies pathogen transmission within 24 h. Likewise, E. coli O157:H7 was recovered from previously culture-negative starlings following 24-h cohabitation with calves shedding E. coli O157:H7.   European starlings may be a suitable reservoir and vector of E. coli O157:H7. Given the duration and magnitude of E. coli O157:H7 shedding by European starlings, European starlings should be considered a public health hazard. Measures aimed at controlling environmental contamination with starling excrement, on the farm and in public venues, may decrease food-producing animal and human exposure to this pathogen.
    Letters in Applied Microbiology 12/2011; 53(6):596-601. · 1.63 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To assess the potential for food contamination with Clostridium difficile from food animals, we conducted a cross-sectional fecal prevalence study in 944 randomly selected cattle harvested at seven commercial meat processing plants, representing four distant regions (median distance of 1,500 km) of the United States. In all, 944 animals were sampled in the summer of 2008. C. difficile was isolated from 1.8% (17 of 944) of cattle, with median fecal shedding concentration of 2.2 log CFU/g (range = 1.6 to 4.8, 95% confidence interval = 1.6, 4.3). Toxigenic C. difficile isolates were recovered from only four (0.4%) cattle. One of these isolates was emerging PCR ribotype 078/toxinotype V. The remaining toxigenic isolates were toxinotype 0, one of which was an isolate with resistance to linezolid, clindamycin, and moxifloxacin (by the E-test). All isolates were susceptible to vancomycin, metronidazole, and tigecycline, but the MICs against linezolid were as high as the highest reported values for human-derived isolates. The source of the linezolid-clindamycin-moxifloxacin resistance in a toxigenic C. difficile isolate from cattle is uncertain. However, since the use of these three antimicrobial agents in cattle is not allowed in North America, it is possible that resistance originated from an environmental source, from other species where those antimicrobial agents are used, or transferred from other intestinal bacteria. This study confirms that commercial cattle can carry epidemiologically relevant C. difficile strains at the time of harvest, but the prevalence at the time they enter the food chain is low.
    Journal of food protection 10/2011; 74(10):1618-24. · 1.83 Impact Factor
  • M L Williams, D L Pearl, J T Lejeune
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To provide molecular epidemiological evidence of avian transmission of Escherichia coli O157:H7 between dairy farms in Ohio, this study was designed to identify genetic relatedness between isolates originating from bovine faecal samples and intestinal contents of European starlings captured on these farms. During a three-year period (2007-2009), cattle (n = 9000) and starlings (n = 430) on 150 different dairy farms in northern Ohio were sampled for the presence of E. coli O157:H7. Isolates were subjected to multiple-locus variable-nucleotide tandem repeat analysis (MLVA). Distinct allelic groups were identified on most farms; however, isolates clustering into three MLVA groups originated from both cattle and birds on different farms. Sharing of indistinguishable epidemiologically linked E. coli O157 MLVA subtypes between starlings and cattle on different farms supports the hypothesis that these birds contribute to the transmission of E. coli O157:H7 between dairy farms. A continued need exists to identify and to improve preharvest measures for controlling E. coli O157:H7. Controlling wildlife intrusion, particularly European starlings, on livestock operations, may be an important strategy for reducing dissemination of E. coli O157:H7 between farms and thereby potentially decreasing the on-farm prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 and enhancing the safety of the food supply.
    Journal of Applied Microbiology 07/2011; 111(4):982-8. · 2.20 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) are common, widely distributed birds in North America that frequently come into contact with agricultural operations. However, starlings have been one of the neglected land-based wild bird species for influenza surveillance. To study the potential role of starlings in the ecology and epidemiology of influenza virus. We collected 328 digestive and 156 tracheal samples from starlings in Ohio in years 2007 (July) to 2008 (August) and screened for the presence of influenza virus by real-time RT-PCR, standard RT-PCR and virus isolation using embryonated chicken eggs. In addition, we conducted an experimental infection study to evaluate the replication and induction of antibody response by two low pathogenic avian influenza (AI) viruses in starlings. Although virus isolation was negative, we confirmed 21 influenza positive digestive and tracheal samples by real-time and standard RT-PCR tests. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that five NS genes recovered from Starlings belonged to NS subtype A and were most similar to the NS genes from a wild aquatic bird origin isolate from Ohio. Experimental infection studies using two low pathogenic AI strains showed that starlings could be infected, shed virus, and seroconvert. This study shows that starlings can carry influenza virus that is genetically similar to wild aquatic bird origin strains and may serve as a carrier of influenza virus to domestic animals.
    Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses 07/2011; 5(4):268-75. · 1.47 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To longitudinally assess fecal shedding and animal-to-animal transmission of Clostridium difficile among finishing feedlot cattle as a risk for beef carcass contamination, we tested 186 ± 12 steers (mean ± standard deviation; 1,369 samples) in an experimental feedlot facility during the finishing period and at harvest. Clostridium difficile was isolated from 12.9% of steers on arrival (24/186; 0 to 33% among five suppliers). Shedding decreased to undetectable levels a week later (0%; P < 0.001), and remained low (< 3.6%) until immediately prior to shipment for harvest (1.2%). Antimicrobial use did not increase fecal shedding, despite treatment of 53% of animals for signs of respiratory disease. Animals shedding C. difficile on arrival, however, had 4.6 times higher odds of receiving antimicrobials for respiratory signs than nonshedders (95% confidence interval for the odds ratio, 1.4 to 14.8; P = 0.01). Neither the toxin genes nor toxin A or B was detected in most (39/42) isolates based on two complementary multiplex PCRs and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay testing, respectively. Two linezolid- and clindamycin-resistant PCR ribotype 078 (tcdA+/tcdB+/cdtB+/39-bp-type deletion in tcdC) isolates were identified from two steers (at arrival and week 20), but these ribotypes did not become endemic. The other toxigenic isolate (tcdA+/tcdB+/cdtB+/classic tcdC; PCR ribotype 078-like) was identified in the cecum of one steer at harvest. Spatio-temporal analysis indicated transient shedding with no evidence of animal-to-animal transmission. The association between C. difficile shedding upon arrival and the subsequent need for antimicrobials for respiratory disease might indicate common predisposing factors. The isolation of toxigenic C. difficile from bovine intestines at harvest highlights the potential for food contamination in meat processing plants.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 03/2011; 77(10):3391-7. · 3.95 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Alexander Rodriguez-Palacios, Jeffrey T Lejeune
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Clostridium difficile spores can survive extended heating at 71°C (160°F), a minimum temperature commonly recommended for adequate cooking of meats. To determine the extent to which higher temperatures would be more effective at killing C. difficile, we quantified (D values) the effect of moist heat at 85°C (145°F, for 0 to 30 min) on C. difficile spores and compared it to the effects at 71 and 63°C. Fresh (1-week-old) and aged (≥20-week-old) C. difficile spores from food and food animals were tested in multiple experiments. Heating at 85°C markedly reduced spore recovery in all experiments (5 to 6 log(10) within 15 min of heating; P < 0.001), regardless of spore age. In ground beef, the inhibitory effect of 85°C was also reproducible (P < 0.001), but heating at 96°C reduced 6 log(10) within 1 to 2 min. Mechanistically, optical density and enumeration experiments indicated that 85°C inhibits cell division but not germination, but the inhibitory effect was reversible in some spores. Heating at 63°C reduced counts for fresh spores (1 log(10), 30 min; P < 0.04) but increased counts of 20-week-old spores by 30% (15 min; P < 0.02), indicating that sublethal heat treatment reactivates superdormant spores. Superdormancy is an increasingly recognized characteristic in Bacillus spp., and it is likely to occur in C. difficile as spores age. The potential for reactivation of (super)dormant spores with sublethal temperatures may be a food safety concern, but it also has potential diagnostic value. Ensuring that food is heated to >85°C would be a simple and important intervention to reduce the risk of inadvertent ingestion of C. difficile spores.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 03/2011; 77(9):3085-91. · 3.95 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Phenotypic detection of methicillin resistance in coagulase-negative Staphylococcus (CoNS) of animal origin has been challenging due to the heterogeneous expression of mecA. To compare different phenotypic methods in predicting the mecA presence in CoNS, a total of 87 CoNS isolates from agricultural animals were analyzed in this study by agar dilution, disk diffusion, and broth microdilution. mecA was present in 81 CoNS isolates. Broth microdilution demonstrated the highest sensitivity of 100% in predicting the mecA presence, followed by 72.8% by agar dilution and 70.4% by disk diffusion. The results indicate that broth microdilution may be more suitable for predicting the presence of mecA in CoNS from animals than the other two methods, although staphylococcal species may also be a factor affecting the sensitivities of the methods as the top three staphylococcal species in this study were Staphylococcus lentus, Staphylococcus sciuri, and Staphylococcus xylosus (a total of 75 of 87).
    Research in Veterinary Science 02/2011; 90(1):23-5. · 1.77 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
157.57 Total Impact Points


  • 2004–2014
    • The Ohio State University
      • • Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center
      • • Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine
      • • Department of Food Science and Technology
      Columbus, Ohio, United States
  • 2010–2013
    • University of Guelph
      • Department of Population Medicine
      Guelph, Ontario, Canada
  • 2012
    • Kansas State University
      • Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology
      Manhattan, KS, United States
  • 2000–2004
    • Washington State University
      • • College of Veterinary Medicine
      • • Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences (VCS)
      • • Department of Veterinary Microbiology & Pathology (VMP)
      Pullman, WA, United States