Factors Involved in the Emergence and Persistence of Food-Borne Diseases

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In recent years, a number of bacteria, viruses, and parasites have emerged as food-borne pathogens and resulted in numerous food-borne disease outbreaks. These outbreaks have had a major impact in terms of loss of human lives and economic costs. Genetic changes in microorganisms resulting in increased virulence, changes in social attitudes and eating habits, changes in food production and distribution systems, an increase in the number of immunocompromised individuals, and improved pathogen-detection methods are some of the factors that have contributed to the emergence/recognition and persistence of food-borne pathogens. The causes leading to the emergence of new food-borne pathogens or the reemergence of pathogens involve the interaction of several factors. This review discusses in detail factors involved in the emergence/recognition and persistence of several bacterial, parasitic, viral, and virus-like agents associated with food-borne diseases of public-health significance.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Eastern Regional Research Center, 600 East Mermaid Lane, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19118

Publication date: June 1, 1995

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