Enteric Illness and Animals

Enteric illnesses are transmitted by contaminated food or water, exposure to contaminated bodily fluids (both human and animal), exposure to contaminated objects, or direct exposure to infected persons or animals. Characteristics of enteric illness include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, fever, and some other symptoms.


Contact between humans and animals and/or animal environments is a common pathway for transmission of enteric pathogens. It is also one of the most preventable transmission routes for these pathogens. Bacteria such as Campylobacter spp., Listeria monocytogenes, non-typhoidal Salmonella spp., and others cause millions of cases of foodborne illness each year. The articles linked below contain information on how these pathogens are spread via animal contact and estimates of the number of transmissions.

  1. Estimates of Enteric Illness Attributable to Contact with Animals and Their Environments in the United States.
    • Web-based content – click here.
    • PDF – click here.
  2. Reports of zoonotic disease outbreaks associated with animal exhibits and availability of recommendations for preventing zoonotic disease transmission from animals to people in such settings.
    • Abstract – click here.
  3. Outbreaks of Enteric Infections Caused by Multiple Pathogens Associated with Calves at a Farm Day Camp.
    • Abstract – click here.
  4. Outbreaks of Enteric Disease Associated with Animal Contact: Not Just a Foodborne Problem Anymore.
    • Web-based content – click here.
    • PDF – click here.

If you would like additional information on foodborne illness and enteric pathogens, please visit the UF/IFAS Electronic Data Information Source (EDIS). The foodborne illness subsection link is here. The main EDIS link is here (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu).


Posted: October 4, 2017

Category: Agriculture, Food Safety
Tags: Animals, Enteric Illness

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