Pathogens affect the human body exposing
it to numerous diseases and poor health. An example is Escherichia coli whose
varied strains contribute various impacts to both humans and animals (Caprioli, Morabito, Brugère & Oswald, 2005). E. coli is part of the normal body flora found in the
gastrointestinal tract. However, certain strains which are pathogenic cause
gastrointestinal diseases. Based on Caprioli et al. (2005),
classification of these pathogenic strains follows their virulence properties. In
particular, the Shiga toxin producing E.
coli (STEC) of a zoonotic origin is pathogenic
The pathogenesis process explains
the transmission mode of the pathogen. With E.
coli, infections occur through ingestion of contaminated food and water
(Caprioli et al. 2005;
Heiman, Mody, Johnson, Griffin & Gould, 2015). Further, close person-to-person contact can increase
the spread of infection. Knowledge about the routes of transmission allows the
implementation of effective strategies to prevent and control the pathogen.
This includes the application of standard hygiene practices throughout the food
production chain, improving farmhouse environment including interventions on
animal diet and protecting water source along treating water (Caprioli et al. 2005; Heiman et al. 2015).
Mitigation strategies differ for
the various transmission modes of the pathogen. In particular, mitigating food-borne
transmission involves exclusion of ill food handlers, the vaccination for
hepatitis A virus and the exercise of proper food handling practices (Michaels et al. 2004). Further, proper cooking
of food is a significant mitigation practice. Concerning water, Caprioli et al. (2005)
discuss the importance of protecting water source from contamination from
animal fecal matter. Again, it is crucial to avoid coming into contact with
contaminated water, especially during outdoor activities. Other measures
involve the practice of good hygiene and management practices such as treating
drinking water before consumption. The imperative is paying a special attention
to the zoonotic agents by administering probiotic and use of bacteriophages active
for the pathogenic strains of E. coli.