Use of Epidemiologic and Food Survey Data To Estimate a Purposefully Conservative Dose-Response Relationship for Listeria monocytogenes Levels and Incidence of Listeriosis

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The development of effective quantitative microbial risk-assessment models for foodborne pathogens depends on the availability of data on the consumers' exposure to a biological agent and the dose-response relationship that relates levels of the biological agent ingested with frequency of infection or disease. Information on the latter has historically been acquired from human volunteer feeding studies. However, such studies are not feasible for pathogens that either have a significant risk of being life threatening or for which morbidity is primarily associated with high-risk populations (i.e., immunocompromised persons). For these pathogens, it is proposed that purposefully conservative dose-response relationships can be estimated on the basis of combining available epidemiologic data with food-survey data for a ready-to-eat product. As an example, data on the incidence of listeriosis in Germany were combined with data on the levels of Listeria monocytogenes in smoked fish to generate a dose-response curve for this foodborne pathogen.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Eastern Regional Research Center, 600 East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania 19038, USA 2: Nestlé, Avenue Nestlé 55, CH-1800 Vevey, Switzerland

Publication date: August 1, 1997

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    First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection® is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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