From August through October 2011, 147 people in 28 states were infected with Listeria monocytogenes after eating cantaloupe from Jensen Farms in Colorado. There were 33 deaths, and one pregnant woman had a miscarriage as a result, making it one of the deadliest outbreaks of foodborne illness in the U.S. in recent years. Apart from…

With a nearly 50-percent mortality rate, Vibrio vulnificus is the most deadly foodborne pathogen in the world, according to University of North Carolina at Charlotte Biology Professor Jim Oliver. And instances of infection in the U.S., however rare, are rapidly rising. Fifteen years ago, there were 21 confirmed cases of Vibrio vulnificus and parahaemolyticus infections…

In May 2011, a virtually unknown strain of E. coli, known as O104:H4, made worldwide headlines when an outbreak in Germany sickened approximately 4,000 people and killed 50, including one American. This event, linked to fresh sprouts, quickly became the deadliest foodborne illness outbreak in history. In the days following the first reports of illness,…

The war on emerging pathogens isn’t like any others. The war on drugs might well end with a new approach. The war on terrorism might eventually wind down. But the war on emerging pathogens is different. It will never end. This conclusion is showing up fairly often in the scientific literature this year, from authors…