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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

About FDA

Molecular Epidemiology of Bacterial Foodborne Pathogens

Description: Characterize foodborne pathogens using molecular and omics technologies to further understand antimicrobial resistance and virulence of pathogens along the farm-to-fork continuum.

Definition: Molecular methods will be used to track strains of bacteria involved in outbreaks of foodborne disease. Understanding and assessing the risk of foodborne pathogens will allow FDA to manage the emergence of these pathogens in the food supply.

Public Health Outcome: These studies will provide data to Centers such as CVM and CFSAN that can be used in risk assessment models to better define the dissemination of significant foodborne pathogens throughout the food chain.

Accomplishment: The plasmids sequenced in this study demonstrated some similarities to previously sequenced plasmids isolated from enteric organisms, however in each case there were unique regions contributing to plasmid diversity. Such diversity could potentially lead to favorable benefits to the bacteria occupying different ecological niches. Our ongoing work is focusing on the role of these plasmids in Salmonella virulence and determining what factors influence the dissemination of plasmids among enteric bacteria. Studies to understand the evolution and dissemination of plasmids are important to limit the future spread of increased virulence and antimicrobial resistance in Salmonella and other enteric pathogens.

Milestone DescriptionMilestone DateMilestone StatusMilestone Completion Date

1. Acquire additional bacterial isolates from sources along the farm-to-fork continuum (animal, food, and human clinical)


Completed 4/30/2010

2. Genotype bacterial isolates and evaluate for antimicrobial susceptibility and presence of resistance determinants


Completed 5/31/2010

3. Optimize methods to evaluate the ability of antimicrobial resistance transfer among bacterial pathogens


Completed 6/30/2010

4. Finish plasmid replicon typing on Salmonella Heidelberg strains


Completed 7/31/2010

5. Identify bacterial isolates for plasmid sequencing studies


Completed 8/31/2010

6. Complete draft manuscript on human clinical Salmonella isolates


Completed 9/30/2010

7. Final manuscript on human clininal Salmonella isolates submitted to the Journal of Clinical Microbiology


Completed 12/15/2010

8. Complete antimicrobial resistance transfer and virulence studies



Completed 5/31/2012

9. Complete the peer review (NCTR and other FDA researchers) of draft technical report, manuscript, and/or publication


Completed 4/26/2012

10. Obtain NCTR Center Director approval on the draft technical report, manuscript, and/or publication via the document tracking system


Completed 4/26/2012

11. Submit final manuscript on human clinical Salmonella antimicrobial resistance transfer and virulence studies to a scientific journal



Completed 12/4/2012

Key Projects Legend

Milestone StatusDefinition
Not Yet StartedWork for specific milestone has not yet been started.
CompletedMilestone and/or overall project is completed.
On TrackMilestone - On track for completion by milestone deadline. Quarter status - Project is on track for completion based on overall milestone status.
On HoldMilestone - On hold, but deadline for completion has not passed. Quarter status - Project is on hold, based on overall milestone status.
DelayedMilestone - Delayed as it has not been completed and deadline has passed. Quarter status - Project is delayed based on overall milestone status.


omics technologies

technologies that can generate a multitude of measurements on an omics sample, such as a genome or proteome


Center for Veterinary Medicine


Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

Note: The data provided on this website is produced on an ongoing basis for performance management purposes and is subject to change due to updates of preliminary estimates, corrections, or other reasons. In addition, FDA may change the type or amount of data provided on this website at any time. Information marked as "Completed" may include measures and/or key projects for which activities are ongoing but no longer tracked as part of FDA-TRACK.