Human pathogenic bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli occasionally can be present in freshly consumed products like vegetables, sprouts and fruits.
The presence of these pathogens can lead to disease outbreaks among consumers. Such outbreaks have been reported in the past. Sources of these infections in growing plants are not always clear. Main infection sources can be manure, irrigation and run-off water, but also other, unknown, sources may play a role in transmission of these pathogens to plants. \
Our role is to explore the most likely transmission routes to plants and to investigate how human pathogens can become genetically adapted to plants. Together with partners we investigate consequences for human health. The outcome of our experimental work leads to prevention and interception strategies to avoid contamination of these infective agents in the fresh produce chain.