UT hosted a microbiology seminar at Walters Life Sciences Building in Room 307 on Monday with a lecture from Dr. Bala Swaminathan of the CDC. His lecture focused on food disease surveillance and outbreak investigations.
Swaminathan’s biggest findings were in the area of salmonella surveillance.
“There are over 2,500 serotypes, (the) top 100 serotypes account for 98 percent of disease,” he said. “It’s important to determine the serotype.” A serotype is a group of microorganisms or viruses based on the cell surface of antigens. He mentioned the PulseNet database as being a great help in detecting these viruses.
“PulseNet surveillance is proven to be an effective and early warning system for detecting food-borne clusters,” Swaminathan said. “Significant progress has (been) made in the past 20 years in food safety. We are importing more products than we did 20 years ago, and we must see that in our own country, we must also practice sanitary food preparation.”