Food Borne Diseases

Food Borne Diseases

Food Borne Diseases are also called foodborne illness. any illness brought on by eating or drinking things that have been contaminated with certain infectious or noninfectious substances. Agents like bacteria, viruses, or parasites are to blame for the majority of cases of foodborne disease. Other harmful substances include mycotoxins (fungal toxins), marine biotoxins, and the toxins found in poisonous mushrooms. They also include metals like lead, mercury, and cadmium that can contaminate food through soil, water, or air pollution, organic pollutants like dioxin and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which are byproducts of some industrial processes, and prions (abnormal protein forms). Foodborne illness agents can result in a wide range of ailments, including gastroenteritis, reproductive or developmental problems, and neurological illnesses like bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease). Since many cases of foodborne illness go unreported, it is challenging to determine how common they are, but the burden of illness is believed to be significant. For instance, tens of millions of individuals get diarrheal disorders each year, a frequent indicator of a foodborne illness. Outbreaks of foodborne infections frequently happen, and they have the potential to harm a lot of people. For instance, a hepatitis A epidemic in 1988 in China that was brought on by eating infected clams impacted more than 300,000 people, while a salmonellosis outbreak in 1994 in the United States that was brought on by eating contaminated ice cream affected 224,000 individuals. Food-borne infections are often fatal. Consuming tainted foods or drinks results in foodborne disease. Foods can be contaminated by a wide range of pathogens or disease-causing bacteria, leading to a wide range of foodborne diseases. Eating food tainted with germs, viruses, parasites, or chemicals like heavy metals can result in over 200 ailments. Through pressure on healthcare systems, lost productivity, and detrimental effects on trade and tourism, this growing public health issue has a significant socioeconomic impact. The worldwide burden of disease and mortality is considerably increased by these illnesses.

Foodborne illnesses can develop at any point in the chain of food production, distribution, and consumption due to food contamination. They may be the result of unsafe food processing and storage practices, environmental contamination in the form of soil, water, or air pollution, or a combination of these.

From diarrheic to cancer, foodborne diseases cover a wide variety of ailments. While they can also cause neurological, gynaecological, and immunological symptoms, gastrointestinal problems are the most common presentation. The burden of diarrheal diseases is disproportionately borne by low- and middle-income nations and by young children, although they constitute a substantial concern in all nations of the globe.

foodborne diseases

Commonly recognized foodborne infections are:

  • Campylobacteriosis (Campylobacter)
  • Cryptosporidiosis (Cryptosporidium)
  • Cyclosporiasis (Cyclospora spp.)
  • Escherichia coli O157:H7 Infection (E. …
  • Giardiasis (Giardia)
  • Listeriosis (Listeria monocytogenes)

Common foodborne illnesses

Foodborne infections come in a variety of forms. Here, the causes of certain common ailments are explained.

Numerous animals, including humans and cattle, have Escherichia coli in their intestines. The majority of E. coli strains do not affect people. However, when consumed by people, some strains can have negative health effects. While it can also be spread through unpasteurized milk and fruit juice, contaminated water, uncooked produce, and person-to-person contact, E. coli 0157:H7, a bacteria that lives in the intestines of cattle, is typically consumed in undercooked ground beef. E. coli 0157:H7 infection symptoms may include excruciating stomach pains and bloody diarrhoea. Hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can cause renal failure and death, might sometimes manifest. E. coli O104:H4 and other strains that infect people are examples.

Salmonella bacteria, which are frequently found in the intestines of mammals, reptiles, and birds, and which typically infect humans through the intake of items derived from animals, such as eggs, meat, and milk, are the cause of salmonellosis. Salmonellosis symptoms include fever, headache, stomach discomfort, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea; it can be fatal in people with compromised immune systems or poor health.

Listeria monocytogenes, which causes listeriosis, is typically spread through milk, soft cheeses, ice cream, fresh vegetables, and raw meat and poultry. Because L. monocytogenes can grow at low temperatures, long-term refrigeration of some foods makes them particularly likely transmission routes. Listeriosis symptoms include a flu-like sickness with a temperature, exhaustion, and muscular pains. Some people may go into convulsions or lose their equilibrium. Because it can result in miscarriage and stillbirth, listeriosis is especially risky for expectant mothers, as well as for young children and people with weakened immune systems, in whom it can result in meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord) or septicemia (blood poisoning).

Campylobacter germs are the cause of campylobacteriosis. It is the most often recognised bacterial cause of diarrheal sickness globally, and in certain regions it is more prevalent than salmonellosis. Campylobacteriosis is mostly spread via raw milk, undercooked chicken, and drinking water. The majority of raw poultry can be believed to be infected since campylobacter bacteria can be found in the intestines of healthy birds. Campylobacteriosis signs and symptoms include fever, nausea, severe stomach discomfort, and diarrhoea. In a tiny percentage of instances, serious health effects such reactive arthritis and neurological disorders may manifest.

Prevention and Control

In many locations, serious foodborne illnesses including salmonellosis and E. coli infections are reportable diseases, which means that infections brought on by such agents need to be reported to regional, state, or federal health agencies by doctors and medical laboratories. The reported number of instances is thought to be undercounting the actual number of cases because the majority of foodborne disease cases are minor and go undiagnosed.

Many laws governing food production, transportation, and preparation are designed to stop foodborne illness in its tracks and lessen its effects. For instance, rules have been put in place to enforce safe food preparation and storage, to assist avoid the contamination of raw food, and, if necessary, to close restaurants or food suppliers who are to blame for disease outbreaks or who do not adhere to proper food-hygiene practices. Raw food can become contaminated in a variety of ways, such as by being handled by people who have bacteria or viruses on their hands, washing or rinsing with dirty water, contaminating meat and poultry with faces during the slaughtering and packaging processes, or using dirty utensils and prep surfaces.

prevention and control from foodborne illness

Many microorganisms and parasites are eliminated during cooking at a sufficient temperature. Some microbes, however, might also be found in cooked food, for instance if contamination happens during handling after cooking or pasteurisation. In certain cases, contamination after cooking or after pasteurisation could not be harmful if there are only a few microorganisms there. The majority of bacteria proliferate quickly at room temperature, but are prevented from doing so by refrigeration or freezing (L. monocytogenes is a notable exception). Therefore, even cooked food needs to be quickly refrigerated to stop the growth of disease-causing organisms.



Epidemic: a situation in which a disease temporarily has a high prevalence. A pandemic is an epidemic that affects a large geographic region, such as the entire world. An infectious disease’s increase and fall in epidemic prevalence is a probability phenomena that depends on the spread of an infectious agent’s effective dosage from an infected person to a susceptible one. When an epidemic has passed, the number of susceptible people in the affected host population is so small that spreading the infection again won’t cause a fresh outbreak. Herd immunity refers to the phenomenon wherein the host population as a whole is resistant to the epidemic disease because the parasite population cannot replicate itself in such a host population.

The host population, however, often returns to a state of vulnerability after an epidemic because of three factors: (1) a decline in individual immunity; (2) the death of immune individuals; and (3) the influx of susceptible individuals through birth. The general populace gradually reverts to vulnerability. The interval between successive epidemic peaks varies from illness to disease and is not constant.

The term “epidemic” was expanded to cover outbreaks of any chronic illness or condition (such as obesity or heart disease) by the late 20th century.

When a disease outbreak affects an animal species other than humans, it is referred to as an epizootic rather than an epidemic.

Equine encephalitis


Equine encephalitis, sometimes referred to as equine encephalomyelitis, is a serious virus that infects horses and mules and is spread by mosquitoes. It occasionally affects people, reptiles, and birds.

Equine encephalitis comes in a variety of forms, the most common of which are the toga virus-caused Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), Western equine encephalitis (WEE), and Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE). The virulent Western form can cause up to 90% horse death and 10% human mortality. Other varieties caused by flavivirus strains include Japanese encephalitis and St. Louis encephalitis.

Recovering from the illness or receiving a vaccine that has been tainted with the sickness confers immunity that lasts for a year. The illness seems to be present in birds, however they do not show any obvious signs. The virus is spread by mosquitoes from birds to horses, mules, or people. However, other animals may be similarly infected and exhibit no symptoms. Cats and sheep seem to be resistant.

Human symptoms include headache, tiredness, perspiration, and mental confusion, while those in horses include difficulties in balance, high temperature, loss of coordination, and paralysis. The condition is frequently referred to incorrectly as sleeping sickness due to its symptoms. The victim’s comfort is the primary goal of treatment. The condition may result in irreversible brain damage. The use of vaccinations against the Eastern and Western strains and the removal of mosquito vectors are the main methods of control.


fish disease

The parasitic illness ich, commonly known as white spot disease, is brought on by the ciliated protozoan Ichthyophthirius multifiliis and affects a number of freshwater fish species. One of the most typical illnesses found in tropical fish tanks is ich. Its symptoms include microscopic white patches that resemble salt grains on the body and gills, frequent body rubbing against environmental items, loss of appetite, and unusual hiding behaviours. Fish that are infected may perish as a result of secondary microbial illnesses and direct parasite tissue damage. The parasite develops in the fish’s skin epithelium, where it is immune to chemical water environment therapy. The fully developed parasite departs the host, settles, and creates a structure resembling a cyst that shields it from chemical treatment. The cyst-like structure produces a large number of immature forms (fomites), which are later discharged. A fomite is an obligatory parasite that must immediately infect a new host in order to survive. At particular points in the parasite’s life cycle, copper sulphate added to the water works as a treatment. The difficulty to grow the parasite in a lab setting and the technique of administering the vaccine—direct injection of the fish or addition to the water environment—both pose obstacles to the development of an ant parasitic vaccination.



Campylobacter bacteria produce campylobacteriosis, commonly known as vibriosis, a condition that affects sheep, cattle, and people. There are vaccines available to protect cattle and sheep against the illness.

Campylobacteriosis is the most common type of food poisoning in people. A common way to catch the illness is through contact with raw chicken. Fever, diarrheic, and cramping are among symptoms. The illness may be treated with medications and typically lasts a week. A campylobacter vaccination for poultry is being developed, which might reduce the prevalence of campylobacteriosis in people.

The illness in cattle is spread by coitus or artificial insemination. It is characterised by genital tract inflammation, transient infertility, and erratic estrus. A developing foetus either becomes infected and is reabsorbed or is aborted. The illness often clears up in less than two months, but in some animals, it may persist for longer periods of time. Penile ointments and antibacterial uterine douches are two methods of control. Antibiotics can also be used to treat artificially administered sperm.

Sheep are susceptible to campylobacteriosis from ingested food. The germs subsequently spread to the vaginal tract and interior organs.

Vesicular exanthema of swine

animal disease

pig vesicular exanthema, a virus that affects swine and results in the formation of excruciating blisters on the feet and nose. After exposure, blisters appear 24 to 72 hours later, followed by a fever that lasts 24 to 36 hours and may return two or three days later.

The symptoms are difficult to distinguish from those of vesicular stomatitis and foot-and-mouth disease. Quarantine, the eradication of sick animals, the cleansing and disinfection of polluted locations, and the boiling of waste used as swine feed are all part of control programmes. The illness was the target of a national effort following a significant epidemic that started in the United States in 1939, and it was formally proclaimed eliminated there in 1959. Other nations have not documented it in pigs. The vesicular exanthema of swine virus does, however, exist in other species, such as fish and sea lions, and at least one of these serotypes has been shown to produce illness symptoms when injected into swine.

Heartworm disease

animal disease

Heartworm illness is a parasite condition that primarily affects dogs but can also affect cats. It is brought on by the nematode Dirofilaria immitis. Mosquitoes act as the transmission vector for infectious larvae (microfilariae), which are the cause of the disease. Following their introduction into the host, the larvae in dogs grow and move to the right side of the heart, where they mature. Adult worms grow to a length of 17–27 cm (7–11 inches), and they can remain alive in the heart for three to five years. The dog’s blood flow is disrupted as the number of heartworms in its heart rises, and when it exercises, the afflicted animal exhibits respiratory discomfort. Unless agitated, a dog may endure up to 100 worms with no negative impact on their health.

An antigen test, X-ray imaging of the heart and lungs, and inspection of a blood sample for microfilariae generated by adult females can all help with diagnosis. Because dead worm fragments can block important lung vessels, treating heartworm disease can be dangerous. The introduction of medications that stop the growth of contagious larvae has dramatically improved prevention in recent years.

Dirofilarial larvae can also infect cats. They cannot handle a lot of worms, and even one worm can be fatal.

Typhoid Mary

historical figure

Mary Mallon, often known as Typhoid Mary, was a notorious typhoid carrier who is believed to have caused several outbreaks of the disease. She was born on September 23, 1869 in Cookstown, County Tyrone, Ireland, and passed away on November 11, 1938 on North Brother Island, Bronx, New York, U.S.

After emigrating to the United States in 1883, Mary Mallon supported herself by working as a domestic servant, most frequently as a cook. It is unclear when she contracted Salmonella typhi, the bacteria that causes typhoid. However, between 1900 and 1907, Mallon worked in homes in New York City and Long Island where nearly 20 people contracted typhoid fever. The diseases frequently started soon after she started working in each home, but by the time the ailment was discovered to have its origin in a home where she had recently worked, Mallon had vanished.

The proprietors of the residence in Oyster Bay, New York, recruited sanitary engineer George Soper from the New York City Department of Health, who specialised in researching typhoid fever outbreaks, to look into the outbreak in 1906 when 6 members of an 11-person family where Mallon had worked fell ill with the disease. Additional investigators were called in, and they came to the conclusion that the outbreak was most likely brought on by contaminated water. Mallon kept working as a cook and switching between homes until 1907, when she reappeared and began working at a Park Avenue mansion in Manhattan. Following an outbreak in the Manhattan home that resulted in a death from the illness that winter, Soper met with Mallon.

Mallon attempted to flee once more, but officials headed by Soper eventually caught up with her and transported her to a facility for isolation on North Brother Island, a section of the Bronx, New York. Despite an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, she remained there until 1910, when the health department released her on the condition that she never again accept employment that required handling food.

When an epidemic struck a sanatorium in Newfoundland, New Jersey, and Sloane Maternity Hospital in Manhattan, where Soper had worked as a chef at both facilities, four years later, she started seeking for Mallon once more. Mallon was eventually located in a Westchester County, New York, suburban house and brought back to North Brother Island, where she lived out the remainder of her life. She passed very slowly six years later as a result of a paralytic stroke in 1932.

Although Mallon insisted she was an American citizen, it was later discovered that she was actually an immigrant. Despite the fact that she was immune to the typhoid bacillus, she was responsible for 51 initial cases of typhoid, three fatalities, and countless additional cases.


animal disease

Riftpest, also known as cattle plague, steppe murrain, or infectious bovine typhus, is an acute, extremely contagious viral illness that affects ruminant animals, particularly cattle, and was historically widespread in Africa, the Indian subcontinent, and the Middle East. For decades, the terrible disease known as rinderpest posed a serious danger to the ability of communities that relied primarily on cattle to provide enough food. But after the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) launched the Global Rinderpest Eradication Programmer (GREP) in 1994, effective rinderpest-control initiatives were put in place in the affected regions of the globe. 2011 was chosen as the goal year for eradication.

A early assessment from GREP in 2010 suggested that the illness had been wiped off. The results of the report were corroborated by subsequent observation over the course of the next year. Officials of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) pronounced the illness’s eradication to be complete in 2011, making rinderpest the second viral disease to be completely eliminated from the planet (smallpox being the first). In 2001, there was a rinderpest outbreak in Kenya, according to reports.

The most serious infectious illness to affect cattle, rinderpest was distinguished by its rapid onset and enormous mortality. Along with cattle, it had a significant negative impact on water buffalo, giraffes, some antelope species, wild pigs, and other cloven-hoofed ruminants.

A paramyxovirus (genus Morbillivirus) that causes viral distemper in dogs and the measles in people is the cause of rinderpest. The infection was spread by intimate contact, either directly or indirectly. An infected animal developed a fever and a lack of appetite after an incubation period of three to nine days. Within a few more days, these symptoms were joined by salivation, mouth ulcers, discharge from the eyes and nose, and an unpleasant, fetid odor. The animal displayed labored breathing, thirst, diarrheic, frequently accompanied by stomach discomfort, and finally marked straining to eject when the virus infected the internal organs. On the back and flanks, a skin eruption known as streptothricosis frequently formed. About 6 to 12 days after the initial episode, prostration, coma, and death happened.

Rinderpest might be avoided with the help of cell-cultured vaccinations. Control of the illness in wild animals and the eradication of sick domestic animals were necessary for its eradication in a specific area or region. The most effective means of control was vaccination together with isolation.

Rinderpest was formerly present in Brazil and Australia, but it was swiftly eliminated there. The illness was never documented in the US.

African swine fever

animal disease

A highly contagious and typically fatal viral disease of swine, African swine fever (ASF), also known as warthog fever, is characterised by a high fever, lesions, leukopenia (an abnormally low white blood cell count), an elevated pulse and respiration rate, and death four to seven days after the onset of fever.

Asfarviruses (family Asfarviridae, genus Asfivirus) are the group of viruses that cause African swine fever. It differs from the toga virus that causes hog cholera (swine fever) in terms of its physical characteristics, chemical makeup, and antigen. The African swine fever virus can endure dryness, heat, smoking, putrefaction, and up to six months in refrigerated corpses. A 5- to 15-day incubation period is typical.

The illness was originally discovered in farmed swine following interaction with warthogs and wild pigs in Kenya in 1910. It was restricted to certain regions of Africa until 1957, when it began to spread to Portugal, Spain, Italy, Brazil, and other nations. This spread may have been facilitated by processed pig products. African swine fever extended to South America and certain Caribbean islands in the 1970s, but strict eradication campaigns have kept the illness under control there. It might be challenging to distinguish between acute classical hog cholera and African swine fever. High fevers are a symptom of both illnesses, and they both continue for four to five days. African swine fever virus, however, typically results in mortality within two days after the fever has subsided (as compared to seven days for hog cholera). Despite the fact that cholera may be prevented by vaccination, neither a vaccine nor a therapy for African swine fever have been proven to be successful in preventing the illness. The illness has been stopped from spreading further by banning the import of pigs and pig products from those nations.


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