Education

University of Guelph, 2000, MSc, Food Microbiology
University of Guelph, 2007, PhD, Food Microbiology

Research

I am interested in studying the fundamental reasons why foodborne pathogens continue to be a significant issue in our food chain. Correspondingly, my research is focused on several divergent areas. First, I am interested in examining how stress response physiology is affected by food chain-relevant stress events. Specifically, what are the short- and long-term ramifications on cells subjected to sub-lethal stress events? Also, do these events impact the virulence or pathogenic capacity of the organism? By addressing these questions, we hope to develop/model new intervention strategies based on physiological data.

Also, I am interested in antimicrobial resistance of zoonotic foodborne pathogens. In general, animal production environments and/or practices provide selection pressure for development and subsequent dissemination of resistant phenotypes. I am interested in understanding factors which contribute to this phenomenon. This includes performing antimicrobial surveys, examining transmissibility mechanisms and de novo resistance development, and characterizing novel resistance phenotypes from animal and seafood isolates.

Lastly, I am interested in examining factors which may contribute to pathogen contamination of produce (e.g. Norovirus, E. coli O157:H7 and other STEC, Salmonella, etc.). This involves determining potential sources of pathogen prevalence in the food chain. This information can then be used to understand why/how contaminated produce occurs. Further, I am interested in examining the physiological processes that pathogenic organisms use to survive on and/or in plant tissue.

Teaching

  • Food 523 – Advances in Food Microbiology (Term 1)
  • FNH 313 – Microorganisms in Food Systems (Term 2)
  • FNH 425 – Food Science Laboratory III
  • LFS 100 – Introduction to Land, Food & Community (Term 1)

Selected Publications

  • Kovacevic J, Mesak LR and Allen KJ, (2011). Occurrence and characterization of Listeria spp. in ready-to-eat retail foods from Vancouver, British Columbia. Food Microbiol (Submitted, FM-S-00770).
  • Allen KJ and Griffiths MW, (2011). Impact of hydroxyl- and superoxide anion-based oxidative stress on logarithmic and stationary phase Escherichia coli O157:H7 stress and virulence gene expression. Food Microbiol (In press, 13 Oct 11).
  • Fatima M, Ster C, Rempel H, Talbot BG, Allen KJ, Malouin F and Diarra MS, (2011). Effect of co-administration of 3’-5’-cyclic diguanylic acid with Infectious Bursal Disease Virus on serum antibody levels in broilers. J Vet Animal Adv (In press, 20 Sep 2011).
  • Allen KJ, Rogan D, Finlay BB, Potter A and Asper D, (2011). Vaccination with type III secreted proteins leads to decreased shedding in calves after experimental inoculation with Escherichia coli O157. Can J Vet Res 75:98-105.
  • Allen KJ, Lepp D and Griffiths MW, (2010). Targeted microarray analysis of stationary phase Escherichia coli O157:H7 subjected to disparate nutrient conditions. J Appl Microbiol 109:2118-2127.
  • Allen KJ, Lepp D and Griffiths, MW (2008). Examination of stress and virulence gene expression in Escherichia coli O157:H7 using targeted microarray analysis. Foodborne Dis Pathog 5:437-447.
  • Poppe C, Zeibell K, Martin L and Allen KJ, (2002). Diversity in antimicrobial resistance and other characteristics among Salmonella Typhimurium DT104 isolates. Microb Drug Resist 8(2):107-122.
  • Allen KJ and Poppe C, (2002). Occurrence of CMY-2 beta-lactamase mediated resistance to extended-spectrum cephalosporins in Salmonella isolated from 1994-1999 in food producing animals in Canada. Can J Vet Res 66(3):237-144.
  • Allen KJ and Poppe C, (2002). Phenotypic and genotypic characterization of food animal isolates of Salmonella with reduced sensitivity to ciprofloxacin. Microb Drug Resist 8(4):375-383.
  • Allen KJ and Griffiths MW, (2001). Effect of environmental and chemotactic stimuli on the activity of the Campylobacter jejuni flaA sigma28 promoter. FEMS Microbiol Letters 205(1):43-48.
  • Allen KJ and Griffiths MW, (2001). Use of luminescent Campylobacter jejuni ATCC 33291 to assess eggshell colonization and penetration in fresh and retail eggs. J Food Prot 64(12):2058-2062.

Additional Information

  • Research Manager (2009), Animal Vaccine Research Manager, Bioniche Life Sciences
  • Researcher (2002), PHAC Laboratory for Foodborne Zoonoses, Guelph ON