Microbiology Experts

Thomas E. Besser

veterinary microbiology and pathology
Washington State University
United States of America



Research Interest

My principal research focus is the epidemiology of zoonotic bacterial agents in their domestic animal reservoirs. In addition, I have recently been working on the etiology of bighorn sheep pneumonia. I’m particularly interested in those agents that cause human food-borne diseases. The long-term goal of my research is the development of practical measures to reduce the prevalence of these agents in the animal reservoir as a means of reducing the risk of human disease. While a great deal is known about how these agents act within the human host to cause disease, much less is known about their behavior in the animal reservoir(s) populations, which they typically colonize without evident signs of disease. If factors that influence the prevalence and dissemination of these agents can be identified, these factors might be manipulated to reduce human exposures to these dangerous agents. I’m specifically interested in the role of clonal dissemination in the epidemiology of non-typhoid Salmonella and thermophilic Campylobacters, the interaction between the E. coli O157:H7 and their animal hosts and the environment and the relationship between antimicrobial resistance in Campylobacter and Salmonella bacteria and the use of antimicrobial drugs in animal husbandry.


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