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Dixon B.R.,Food Directorate Health Canada | Ndao M.,Montreal General Hospital Research Unit | Ndao M.,McGill University | Tetro J.A.,University of Ottawa | And 72 more authors.
Food Protection Trends | Year: 2014

Parasitic diseases are of considerable public health significance in Canada, particularly in rural and remote areas. Food- and water-borne parasites contribute significantly to the overall number of parasitic infections reported in Canada. While data on the incidence of some of these diseases are available, knowledge of the true burden of infection by the causative agents in Canadians is somewhat limited. A number of centers of expertise in Canada study various aspects of parasitology, but few formal societies or networks of parasitologists currently exist in Canada, and previously none focused specifically on food or environmental transmission. The recently established Food and Environmental Parasitology Network (FEPN) brings together Canadian researchers, regulators and public health officials with an active involvement in issues related to these increasingly important fields. The major objectives of the Network include identifying research gaps, facilitating discussion and collaborative research, developing standardized methods, generating data for risk assessments, policies, and guidelines, and providing expert advice and testing in support of outbreak investigations and surveillance studies. Issues considered by the FEPN include contaminated foods and infected food animals, potable and non-potable water, Northern and Aboriginal issues, zoonotic transmission, and epidemiology.


Galanis E.,British Columbia Center for Disease Control | Galanis E.,University of British Columbia | Parmley J.,Public Health Agency of Canada | De With N.,British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture | And 21 more authors.
Food Research International | Year: 2012

Integrated surveillance of pathogens along the food chain and the multidisciplinary investigation of food hazards are considered international best practices. Integrated surveillance of Salmonella was initiated in British Columbia (BC), Canada in 2006. The objectives of this paper were 1) to describe the BC integrated surveillance experience, 2) to present findings from the integrated surveillance of Salmonella, and 3) to identify the components that enabled the program. Data about BC animal, food and human Salmonella isolates from 2006 to 2010 (n= 5003) were centrally collated and analysed. Among chickens, chicken meat and humans, the most common serotypes identified were S. Enteritidis, S. Typhimurium and S. Heidelberg. An increase in S. Enteritidis in all three sectors in 2007-9 led to a multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral investigation. An evaluation of the integrated surveillance program helped identify four critical program elements: dedicated people, cross-sectoral sharing and integration of data, multi-disciplinary analysis and interpretation of findings, and collaborative multi-sectoral response. Ongoing challenges include lack of resources and infrastructure to sustain the program. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Moore M.J.,Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | Van Der Hoop J.,Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | Barco S.G.,Virginia Marine Aquarium and Marine Science Program | Costidis A.M.,University of Florida | And 5 more authors.
Diseases of Aquatic Organisms | Year: 2013

Post-mortem examination of dead and live stranded beach-cast pinnipeds and cetaceans for determination of a cause of death provides valuable information for the management, mitigation and prosecution of unintentional and sometimes malicious human impacts, such as vessel collision, fishing gear entanglement and gunshot. Delayed discovery, inaccessibility, logistics, human safety concerns, and weather make these events challenging. Over the past 3 decades, in response to public concern and federal and state or provincial regulations mandating such investigations to inform mitigation efforts, there has been an increasing effort to objectively and systematically investigate these strandings from a diagnostic and forensic perspective. This Theme Section provides basic investigative methods, and case definitions for each of the more commonly recognized case presentations of human interactions in pinnipeds and cetaceans. Wild animals are often adversely affected by factors such as parasitism, anthropogenic contaminants, biotoxins, subclinical microbial infections and competing habitat uses, such as prey depletion and elevated background and episodic noise. Understanding the potential contribution of these subclinical factors in predisposing or contributing to a particular case of trauma of human origin is hampered, especially where putrefaction is significant and resources as well as expertise are limited. These case criteria descriptions attempt to acknowledge those confounding factors to enable an appreciation of the significance of the observed human-derived trauma in that broader context where possible. © Inter-Research 2013.


Bawtree A.,British Columbia Ministry of forests | Zabek L.,British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture
Rangelands | Year: 2011

Fur, gold, and settlement are the building blocks of rangefield management in British Columbia. Furs were integral to development of trade and transportation corridors in British Columbia. Furs had high value, and early explorers representing fur-trade companies trekked across the seemingly limitless spaces and wilderness to facilitate trade with First Nations peoples. The Hudson's Bay Company used an extensive system of boats and horse trails to carry furs from central British Columbia to the mouth of the Columbia River. The rugged Coast Mountains presented an awe-inspiring barrier to travel. The Fraser River cut through the mountains, but it was too swift and treacherous for boat travel. Attitudes in the early twentieth century contributed to a lack of concern for range condition. The provincial government believed there were great opportunities for increasing the cattle industry by utilizing unused range on the vast natural stock ranges.


Vrbova L.,University of British Columbia | Patrick D.M.,University of British Columbia | Patrick D.M.,British Columbia Center for Disease Control | Stephen C.,University of Saskatchewan | And 6 more authors.
Epidemiology and Infection | Year: 2016

The objective of this study was to assess the use of statistical algorithms in identifying significant clusters of Salmonella spp. across different sectors of the food chain within an integrated surveillance programme. Three years of weekly Salmonella serotype data from farm animals, meat, and humans were used to create baseline models (first two years) and identify weeks with counts higher than expected using surveillance algorithms in the third (test) year. During the test year, an expert working group identified events of interest reviewing descriptive analyses of same data. The algorithms did not identify Salmonella events presenting as gradual increases or seasonal patterns as identified by the working group. However, the algorithms did identify clusters for further investigation, suggesting they could be a valuable complementary tool within an integrated surveillance system. © Copyright. Published by Cambridge University Press 2016.


PubMed | University of British Columbia, University of Saskatchewan, Wilfrid Laurier University, Public Health Agency of Canada and British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Epidemiology and infection | Year: 2016

The objective of this study was to assess the use of statistical algorithms in identifying significant clusters of Salmonella spp. across different sectors of the food chain within an integrated surveillance programme. Three years of weekly Salmonella serotype data from farm animals, meat, and humans were used to create baseline models (first two years) and identify weeks with counts higher than expected using surveillance algorithms in the third (test) year. During the test year, an expert working group identified events of interest reviewing descriptive analyses of same data. The algorithms did not identify Salmonella events presenting as gradual increases or seasonal patterns as identified by the working group. However, the algorithms did identify clusters for further investigation, suggesting they could be a valuable complementary tool within an integrated surveillance system.


Taylor M.,British Columbia Center for Disease Control | Leslie M.,British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture | Ritson M.,Vancouver Coastal Health Authority | Stone J.,Fraser Health Authority | And 5 more authors.
Zoonoses and Public Health | Year: 2012

An increase in the rate of human infections with Salmonella enteritidis (SE) occurred between 2007 and 2010 in British Columbia (BC). During the same time period, an increase in SE from poultry-sourced isolates and increased clinical severity in poultry were also observed in BC. This article describes a multi-sectoral collaboration during a 3-year investigation, and the actions taken by public health and animal health professionals. Human cases were interviewed, clusters were investigated, and a case-control study was conducted. Environmental investigations were conducted in food service establishments (FSE). Suspect foods were tested. Laboratory data from poultry-sourced isolates were analysed. Five hundred and eighty-four human cases of SE with the same pulsed-field gel electrophoresis pattern were identified between May 2008 and August 2010. Seventy-three percentage of cases reported consumption of eggs. The odds of egg consumption were 2.4 times higher for cases than controls. Implicated FSE were found to use ungraded eggs, which had been distributed illegally. Investigation suggested that there were multiple suppliers of these eggs. Collaboration between public health and animal health professionals led to data sharing, improved understanding of SE, engagement with the poultry industry and public communication. Multi-disciplinary, multi-sectoral and multi-pronged investigations are recommended to identify the likely source of illness in large, protracted foodborne outbreaks caused by commonly consumed foods. © 2012 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


Woodske D.,British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2015

Consumer demand for environmentally conscious products and business practices is on the rise (Behe et al., 2013) and consumers are willing to pay more for eco-friendly products, such as plants grown in biodegradable containers. Biodegradable containers or biocontainers are made from plant-based materials and degrade quickly in the environment. Two recent online surveys found that consumers are willing to pay $0.23 to $0.29 (Yue et al., 2010) and $0.61 to $0.82 (Hall et al., 2010) more for plants grown in biocontainers. Besides the market opportunities, nursery growers are interested in biocontainers due to their environmental conscience and interest to reduce transplanting costs. Plantable biocontainers can reduce transplanting time by 17% relative to traditional plastic containers that must be removed when planted (Nambuthiri and Ingram, 2014). In response to industry's interest in biocontainers, a broad range of products are commercially available (Table 1) and others are in development (Evans and Hensley, 2004; Helgeson et al., 2010; Schrader et al., 2013).

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