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Fournier A.,Public Health Agency of Canada | Fournier A.,University of Guelph | Young I.,Public Health Agency of Canada | Rajic A.,Food Safety and Quality Unit | And 2 more authors.
Zoonoses and Public Health

Wildlife is a known reservoir of pathogenic bacteria, including Mycobacterium bovis and Brucella spp. Transmission of these pathogens between wildlife and food animals can lead to damaging impacts on the agri-food industry and public health. Several international case studies have highlighted the complex and cross-sectoral challenges involved in preventing and managing these potential transmission risks. The objective of our study was to develop a better understanding of the socio-economic aspects of the transmission of pathogenic bacteria between wildlife and food animals to support more effective and sustainable risk mitigation strategies. We conducted qualitative thematic analysis on a purposive sample of 30/141 articles identified in a complementary scoping review of the literature in this area and identified two key themes. The first related to the framing of this issue as a 'wicked problem' that depends on a complex interaction of social factors and risk perceptions, governance and public policy, and economic implications. The second theme consisted of promising approaches and strategies to prevent and mitigate the potential risks from transmission of pathogenic bacteria between wildlife and food animals. These included participatory, collaborative and multidisciplinary decision-making approaches and the proactive incorporation of credible scientific evidence and local contextual factors into solutions. The integration of these approaches to address 'wicked problems' in this field may assist stakeholders and decision-makers in improving the acceptability and sustainability of future strategies to reduce the transmission of pathogenic bacteria between wildlife and food animals. © 2015 Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada. Source

Annette M.,Food Safety and Quality Unit | Poirson J.-M.,Food Safety and Quality Unit | Zingeser J.,Veterinary Public Health | Otto P.,Veterinary Public Health | And 2 more authors.

In several countries in West Africa, the initial public health emergency triggered by Ebola virus disease (EVD) has developed into a complex crisis, affecting food security, livelihoods and national economies, and even threatening geopolitical stability. © 2015, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. All rights reserved. Source

Young I.,Public Health Agency of Canada | Young I.,Food Safety and Quality Unit | Waddell L.,Public Health Agency of Canada | Cahill S.,Food Safety and Quality Unit | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Food Protection

Low-moisture foods (LMF) are increasingly implicated in outbreaks of foodborne illness, resulting in a significant public health burden. To inform the development of a new Codex Alimentarius code of hygienic practice for LMF, we applied a rapid knowledge synthesis and transfer approach to review global research on the burden of illness, prevalence, and interventions to control nine selected microbial hazards in eight categories of LMF. Knowledge synthesis methods included an integrated scoping review (search strategy, relevance screening and confirmation, and evidence mapping), systematic review (detailed data extraction), and meta-analysis of prevalence data. Knowledge transfer of the results was achieved through multiple reporting formats, including evidence summary cards. We identified 214 unique outbreaks and 204 prevalence and 126 intervention studies. Cereals and grains (n=142) and Salmonella (n=278) were the most commonly investigated LMF and microbial hazard categories, respectively. Salmonella was implicated in the most outbreaks (n = 96, 45%), several of which were large and widespread, resulting in the most hospitalizations (n = 895, 89%) and deaths (n = 14, 74%). Salmonella had a consistently low prevalence across all LMF categories (0 to 3%), but the prevalence of other hazards (e.g., Bacillus cereus) was highly variable. A variety of interventions were investigated in small challenge trials. Key knowledge gaps included underreporting of LMF outbreaks, limited reporting of microbial levels in prevalence studies, and a lack of intervention efficacy research under commercial conditions. Summary cards were a useful knowledge transfer format to inform complementary risk ranking activities. This review builds upon previous work in this area by synthesizing a broad range of evidence using a structured, transparent, and integrated approach to provide timely evidence informed inputs into international guidelines. Copyright © International Association for Food Protection. Source

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