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Project facts

Project manager

Porträtt av Robert Söderlund
Robert Söderlund Researcher, PhD robert.soderlund@sva.se +46 18-67 40 14

Main applicant





Swedish Research Council Formas


2024 - 2027

Field of research


Wild birds

Wild boar

Sources and transmission routes for shigatoxigenic E. coli in foods of plant origin

Foto: Bob Brewer / Unsplash

The proposed project will investigate sources of pathogenic shigatoxigenic E. coli (STEC) found in Swedish field-grown food crops to reveal routes of STEC transmission between animal reservoirs and humans. The primary focus will be wildlife associated with crop damage as potential sources of infection. Target species will be wild boars, cervids, geese and cranes. Wildlife and selected food categories including fresh produce and dry goods will be sampled, and the genomics and phenotypic traits of recovered isolates characterised and compared to each other and STEC from domestic animals and human patients in Sweden. Views and practices regarding risks associated with transmission of STEC from wildlife among farmers and responsible authorities will be explored via in-depth interviews. The project also aims to provide fundamental information about the evolution of virulence, host specialization and environmental survival capabilities in E. coli. Together, this will ultimately result in improved STEC management and surveillance, as well as help support a safe and sustainable food production. The project consortium consists of the Swedish National Veterinary Institute and the Swedish Agricultural University, bringing together a strong interdisciplinary skill set in wildlife ecology, food microbiology, bioinformatics, epidemiology and sociology.  

Last updated : 2024-02-16