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Rev Sci Tech. 2010 Dec;29(3):523-35.

Animal production food safety: priority pathogens for standard setting by the World Organisation for Animal Health.

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Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health Group, Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, Herts AL9 7TA, United Kingdom.


In this short study, expert opinion and a literature review were used to identify the pathogens that should be prioritised by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) for the development of future standards for animal production food safety. Prioritisation was based on a pathogen's impact on human health and amenability to control using on-farm measures. As the OIE mandate includes alleviation of global poverty, the study focused on developing countries and those with 'in-transition' economies. The regions considered were Eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America. Salmonella (from species other than poultry) and pathogenic Escherichia coli were considered to be top priorities. Brucella spp., Echinococcus granulosus and Staphylococcus aureus were also mentioned by experts. As Salmonella, and to a lesser extent pathogenic E. coli, can be controlled by on-farm measures, these pathogens should be considered for prioritisation in future standard setting. On-farm control measures for Brucella spp. will be addressed in 2010-2011 in a review of the OLE Terrestrial Animal/Health Code chapter on brucellosis. In Africa, E. granulosus, the causative agent of hydatidosis, was estimated to have the greatest impact of all pathogens that could potentially be transmitted by food (i.e. via contamination). It was also listed for the Middle East and thought to be of importance by both South American experts consulted. Taenia saginata was thought to be of importance in South America and Africa and by one expert in the Middle East.

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