PAHEF Awardee’s Thesis Offers Insight into Preventing Salmonella Transmission via Eggs

salmonella-eggs-for-webThe winner of the 2009 PAHO/PAHEF Pedro N. Acha Award for Excellence in Veterinary Public Health, Dr. Ilane Morales Hernández, wrote her winning thesis on the topic, “Preparation and assessment of a DNA vaccine versus Salmonella enterica serovar enteritidis outer membrane protein A (OmpA) in laying hens.” Her thesis explored finding a vaccine to inoculate hens against salmonella to prevent the disease from reaching humans via affected eggs. Considered a remarkable contribution to veterinary public health, Dr. Morales’ work highlights the need to tackle salmonella at the source before it reaches the human food chain.

Salmonella Outbreak in the U.S.

According to a report by CNN, from May 1 to July 31, a total of 1,953 cases of salmonella enteritidis were reported in the United States from tainted eggs. To date, one company alone recalled more than 380 million eggs. Salmonella causes intestinal problems which appear 12 to 72 hours after a tainted egg is consumed. It can be fatal in populations at higher risk for health problems.

The current salmonella outbreak highlights the inextricable relationship between human and animal health. Advances and studies in veterinary public health, such as that of Dr. Morales' study, will help keep animal populations, and the humans who rely upon them, healthy.

Read a summary of the thesis

Read the complete thesis in Spanish

A Sample of Recent PAHEF Projects in the Region