University of Connecticut

Graduate student brings experience as a practicing vet to her efforts to reduce Salmonella in poultry

Indu Upadhyaya

Indu Upadhyaya

In July 2014, Indu Upadhyaya was featured here in a graduate student profile. In this post, we focus on her research in the Department of Animal Science.

Indu Upadhyaya has been involved with the animal sciences since long before coming to UConn as a PhD student. Originally from Pondicherry, India, Upadhyaya received a doctorate in veterinary medicine from the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Veterinary Education and Research. After finishing her DVM program, she worked for eight months as a practicing veterinarian in India. In addition to providing veterinary services and counseling to pet owners and farmers, she volunteered in large animal and poultry vaccination campaigns, because these activities offered excellent opportunities to interact with farmers and understand the challenges and problems they face. During her internship in college, she had worked at various large and small-scale chicken farms, during which time she developed an interest in poultry safety. As her interest in poultry health and food safety continued to increase, she decided to pursue a PhD in food microbiology and food safety.

“I wished I could do a little more than just treat animals. I was hoping I would be able to research some of the prevalent diseases … to actually find strategies to cure them,” she says.

Working in the laboratory of her advisor, Kumar Venkitanarayanan, Upadhyaya’s PhD research investigates the potential of several plant molecules for reducing egg-borne transmission of Salmonella Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis) in chickens.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Salmonella can cause diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps in humans. The bacterium primarily colonizes the intestinal tract of animals and birds. It is commonly transmitted to humans by consumption of contaminated foods including beef, chicken, milk and eggs. In addition, other products, like Salmonella-contaminated fresh produce, can cause foodborne illnesses. Between January and September of 2014, there were eight outbreaks of Salmonella in the US, two of them from poultry and poultry products.

S. Enteritidis is responsible for major losses to the poultry industry; the annual loss from Salmonella-contaminated eggs is approximately $370 million. (more…)

Image of the week

Left to right: Patrick Balch, Lisa Dolan, Dominick Sansone

UConn’s NEACSM College Bowl team: Left to right, undergraduate kinesiology students Patrick Balch, Lisa Dolan, Dominick Sansone

At this year’s meeting of the New England Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine, held November 13-14 in Providence, the UConn team won the evening College Bowl competition, a Jeopardy-like trivia game. It is UConn’s third consecutive win and fifth overall. Not only did the students win bragging rights, they also won a paid trip to the national ACSM meeting in San Diego in May 2015. Congratulations!

CAHNR in the news

newsprintSeveral CAHNR people and a center appeared in the news recently. The hyperlinked names will take you to the articles.

The Day of New London. 11-9-14. Mentioned that “a plan for enhancing the state’s recreational and commercial shellfish resources is being developed by Connecticut Sea Grant,” which Tessa Getchis, a Connecticut Extension instructor in residence, said will be completed early next year.

Hartford Courant. 11-16-14. Quoted Mike Darre, a professor in animal science, in an article about the debate over what size cages egg-laying chickens need. He said that increasing the cage size “isn’t necessarily changing the welfare of the animals.”

The Day of New London. 11-16-14. Reported about damage to North Stonington athletic fields by animals that dig holes to access the high population of grubs present there. A state pesticide ban complicates the situation. Two Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture faculty members studied the problem, Steven Rackliffe, who was quoted in the article, and Jason Henderson. (more…)

UConn Extension Agriculture Team wins Farmland Preservation Pathfinder Education Award

Bonnie Burr, Mike O'Neill, Jiff Martin and, Greg Weidemann

Left to right: Bonnie Burr, head, Department of Extension; Mike O’Neill, associate dean;  Jiff Martin, associate extension educator; and Greg Weidemann, dean

The UConn Extension Agriculture Team was the recipient of the Farmland Preservation Pathfinder Education Leader Award at the Working Lands Alliance Annual Meeting on Tuesday, November 18, at the State Capitol in Hartford. The award recognizes significant contributions in the area of educating the public about the importance of farmland preservation.

Through the work of the Agriculture team, UConn Extension has advanced farmland preservation in Connecticut by assisting farmers with economic viability, leadership in the agriculture field, advocacy for agriculture, planning and educational programs. Without economically viable businesses, it would be impossible for farmers in Connecticut to remain in business. UConn Extension Agriculture team programs give farmers the tools they need to enhance their agricultural businesses, playing a direct role in the success of the industry and farmland preservation. Farmers we work with include those who have already preserved their farmland and those considering it as an option.

(more…)

Historical image of the week

Horse Clinic

1966 Horse Clinic