International researchers led by the Institute of Medical Microbiology at the Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU) in Germany have discovered a highly virulent strain of Listeria monocytogenes that may present a new food safety threat. The new strain was identified as the cause of serious diseases in sheep in a remote area of the Chinese province Jiangsu.
“The detection of a completely new form of pathogenic Listeria monocytogenes in China highlights the need for international collaboration,” said Trinad Chakraborty, director of the Institute of Medical Microbiology at JLU and research scientist at the German Center for Infection Research. “Only by combining resources and expertise can we rapidly identify newly emerging threats to food safety from highly virulent strains worldwide.”
After decoding the genome sequence of these bacteria, the scientists were able to determine the genetic basis for their hypervirulence and to identify the factors that enhance the ability of this Listeria strain to cause severe septic diseases. “These isolates are unique in the sense that they combine the virulence characteristics of various highly pathogenic Listeria species that infect animals or humans into a single strain,” explained Chakraborty. “Since listeriosis is a foodborne infection, measures to identify such highly virulent strains are extremely urgent.”
According to the researchers, “our study suggests that hitherto undiscovered variants of Lm [Listeria monocytogenes] in addition to those in the pathogenic lineages I and II probably exist and warrant further research to identify and detect additional lineages of hypervirulent Lm.”
A group of researchers has conducted a comprehensive genomic analysis of all seven species, leading to the development of a new resource that may enable breeders to cultivate tasty, appealing watermelons that are also more disease-resistant and that can be grown in more varied climates.
Of the major food crops, only rice is currently able to survive flooding. Thanks to new research, that could soon change—good news for regions of the world where rains are increasing in both frequency and intensity.
A recent study sponsored by Chr. Hansen has determined that if certain strains of probiotics were administered to the U.S. public, healthcare costs related to respiratory infections would decrease by up to $1.4 billion.
In the first population-based study to examine the association between onion and garlic consumption and breast cancer in Puerto Rico, researchers at the University of Buffalo and University of Puerto Rico found that women who consumed sofrito more than once per day had a 67% decrease in risk compared with women who never ate it.
The Kroger Co., America’s largest grocery retailer, and Infarm, an urban farming network, have announced a partnership that will bring modular living produce farms to North America.
A new study, conducted by the non-profit Zero Waste organization Eco-Cycle, finds restaurants can play a crucial role in diverting food waste away from U.S. landfills.
Bimbo Bakeries USA has announced that it is committing to 100% sustainable packaging for its entire product portfolio by 2025.
Verdeca, a joint venture between Arcadia Biosciences and Bioceres Crop Solutions, has successfully completed the regulatory review process and received approval for its HB4 drought and herbicide tolerant soybeans from the Paraguayan Minister of Agriculture, through the National Commission for Agricultural and Forestry Biosafety.
Cornell University is co-leading a $9.95 million, five-year U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant that aims to transform nutrition and water use in the poultry industry in order to improve its environmental impact and enhance human health.