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Salmonella is a big deal. Did you know it’s one of the top-5 foodborne pathogens, causing over 1 million infections in the United States, which results in more than 25,000 hospitalizations, and several hundred deaths every year? (https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/foodborne-germs.html and https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/)
Some Salmonella strains are more virulent than others (i.e., they cause more illnesses, and/or more severe ones), but the determinants for this variation are not well understood. We are combining genetically-based and epidemiological analyses to understand the genetic determinants of such variations, and our findings suggest that there may be natural targets in surveillance programs to more effectively reduce the burden of illness from foodborne Salmonella.