Alan​ Mathew

Alan Mathew's Main Page

Research Pr​ogram

A number of bacteria with the potential to cause foodborne illness can live in livestock without causing harm to their animal hosts, thus going undetected in livestock systems. Pre-harvest food safety is thus the science of finding ways to reduce the occurrence of such potential pathogens in livestock systems, thus lowering the risk of contaminating agricultural products and foods. Among the most common foodborne pathogens are various types of Salmonella, and E. coli, including types O157:H7, and non-O157 shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC) strains, including O91:H21, which sometimes reside in cattle and other ruminant animals. Additional health risks may be posed if these organisms carry genes or attributes that increase their resistance to human antibiotics.

Our research focuses on identifying husbandry practices, nutritional programs, and/or intervention strategies to reduce numbers of foodborne pathogens in livestock systems, including swine and cattle. Additionally, we are conducting studies to characterize bacterial genetic elements that code for antibiotic resistance, including "integrons" which are large genetic sequences that simultaneously code for resistance to multiple antibiotics, and additionally self-promote their transfer to other bacteria, including to similar or even unrelated microbial species, thus spreading antibiotic resistance to a larger pool of microorganisms.

Select​ed Publications

  1. Hurd, S., B. Masters, A. G. Mathew, S. Oliver, R. Preston, and R. Singer. 2012. The direct relationship between animal health and food safety outcomes. Commentary. Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) (invited). Available at:

  2. Clark, S., R. Daly, E. Jordan, J. Lee, A. G. Mathew, and P. Ebner. 2012. Journal of Animal Science. 90 (8): 2861-2872 (invited).

  3. A. G. Mathew. 2011. Real-time PCR. In: Handbook of Food Safety Engineering (Da-wen Sun, Ed.). Wiley-Blackwell Publishing (in press).

  4. Jenkins, S. J., T. A. Cooper, M. P. Roberts, A. G. Mathew, J. A. Carroll, H. G. Kattesh, and C. J. Kojima. 2011. Effects of Syndiphalin-33 on immune function during a Salmonella challenge in recently weaned pigs. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances (in press).

  5. Mathew, A. G., S. Liamthong, J. Lin, and Y. Hong. 2009. Evidence of class 1 integron transfer between Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp. on livestock farms. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. 6(8):959-964.

  6. Mathew, A. G., S. Rattanatabtimbtong, C. M. Nyachoti, and L. Fang. 2009. Effects of in-feed egg yolk antibodies on Salmonella shedding, bacterial antibiotic resistance and health of pigs. Journal of Food Protection. 72: 267-273.

  7. Mathew, A. G., S. Liamthong, R. Cissell. 2007. Antibiotic resistance in bacteria associated with food animals: A US perspective for livestock production. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. 4: 115 - 133.

  8. Phongpaichit, S., S. Liamthong, A. G. Mathew, U. Chethanont. 2007. Prevalence of class 1 integrons in commensal Escherichia coli from pigs and pig farmers in Thailand. Journal of Food Protection. 70: 292-299.

  9. A. G. Mathew, K. N. Garner, P. D. Ebner, A. M. Saxton, and R. E. Clift. 2005. Effects of antibiotic use in sows on resistance of bacteria in their offspring. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. 2: 212-220.

  10. Hurd, H. S., S. Doores, D. Hayes, A. G. Mathew, J. Maurer, P. Silley, R. Singer, R. N. Jones. 2004. Semi-Quantitative Risk Assessment of the Human Health: Impact Attributable to the Use of Macrolides in Food Animals. Journal of Food Protection. 67(5):980-992.

  11. Mathew, A. G. and P. D. Ebner. 2004. Issues of drug use and antibiotic resistance in swine production. Pig News and Information 25(4): 1N-15N.

  12. Ebner, P. D., K. Garner, and A. G. Mathew. 2004. Class 1 integrons in various Salmonella enterica serovars isolated from animals and identification of SGI1 in Salmonella enterica var Meleagridis. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 53:1004-1009.

Service, Honors​, Awards

  • President Elect, American Society of Animal Science Midwest Section. 2013-present
  • Member, Advisory Board, Indiana State Department of Agriculture Certified Livestock Producer Program. 2013-present
  • Member, Board of Directors. Fair Oaks Pig Adventure Education Center. 2012-present.
  • Member, Advisory Board, Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory
  • Member, Indiana Lieutenant Governor's Delegation, Agriculture and Community Development Mission to China. 2011
  • Member, FDA Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee. 2008 - 2011
  • Member, Review Panel for FDA Center of Veterinary Medicine Minor Use, Minor Species (MUMS) Drug Application Program. 2008 - present
  • Purdue Animal Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award. 2008. Recognition of leadership, accomplishments and demonstrated excellence.
  • W. S. Overton Faculty Merit Award. 2000. The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. Recognition for outstanding contributions to student development.
  • Buford E. Ellington Distinguished Faculty Award. 2000. Department of Animal Science, The University of Tennessee. Recognition of teaching excellence.
  • Outstanding Faculty Member. 2000. The University of Tennessee Animal Science Graduate Student Association. Recognition of research and teaching effort relevant to graduate education and mentorship.