E. coli O157 emerged in the 1980s with a large outbreak in the United States in 1981. The clinical manifestations of verotoxigenic E. coli O157 infection in man includes freedom from symptoms; non-bloody diarrhea; hemorrhagic colitis; hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS); thrombotic thrombocytopaenic purpura (TTP); and possible death. The clinical signs are more severe in the very young and the elderly, The vulnerable sectors of our society.
E. coli O157 has been found in the feces of a wide range of animals and birds, e.g. cattle, sheep, pigs, dogs, rabbits and pigeons. Direct contact with animals or indirect contact through the contamination of food or water are potential sources of infection for the public. Beef has been associated with some high profile outbreaks of E. coli O157. One of my research interests is investigating risk factors at the pre-harvest and harvest phases of the food chain to identify potential control points for E. coli O157 in beef production.
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In the past 30 years Campylobacter has emerged as an important public health zoonotic agent, in particular C. jejuni and C. coli. Infection with Campylobacter in man can range from asymptomatic, mild self limiting enterocolitis lasting 24 hours to a severe illness including diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps and vomiting. The majority of infected patients recover without any specific treatment. However, campylobacteriosis tends to be more severe in immunosuppressed patients e.g. HIV-infected patients.
My research in Campylobacter is focused on identifying risk factors associated with the transmission of Campylobacter in cattle and evaluating the risk of carcass contamination.
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The World Health Organization specifically identified antimicrobial resistance as potentially one of the most serious threats to public health in coming decades with ineffective therapy due to antimicrobial resistance is associated with increased human suffering.
My interest in antimicrobial resistance include quantifying the level of antimicrobial resistance induce by therapeutic use of antimicrobial in farm animal medicine and the investigation of antimicrobial resistance mechanisms