Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Food & Beverage Analysis
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Foodborne Pathogen Detection Speeds Up Dramatically

Published: Monday, July 21, 2014
Last Updated: Monday, July 21, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Next-generation sequencing techniques allow rapidly identification of strains of salmonella, quickening responses to potential outbreaks.

New York is on the front lines of detecting foodborne pathogen outbreaks, thanks to a partnership between public health scientists and Cornell researchers.

Members of the Cornell Food Safety Lab, led by food science professor Martin Wiedmann and research associate Henk den Bakker, are helping the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) harness the capabilities and cost efficiencies of next-generation DNA sequencing techniques to rapidly identify strains of salmonella and read the results in a way that could quicken responses to potential outbreaks.

Traditional methods of assessing bacteria samples submitted to public health laboratories, based on pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), often do not deliver the level of precision needed to pinpoint specific strains of pathogens, their relationships to each other and whether they share a common origin – vital information when trying to trace the source of illness outbreaks.

For Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis, for instance, 85 percent of isolates can be classified into just five PFGE types, and 40 percent belong to one subtype in particular.

“There’s so little variation in the genome, and when there’s an outbreak, it’s almost impossible to differentiate using that method,” den Bakker said.

By sequencing all 4.5 million base pairs of the bacteria’s DNA using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPS) in a technique known as rapid whole-genome sequencing, scientists are able to get much more nuanced information.

“This kind of detailed information improves our ability to tell whether outbreaks are isolated, sporadic or part of a cluster, which allows for more thorough epidemiologic investigations,” said NYSDOH collaborator William J. Wolfgang.

The introduction of small, affordable, bench-top, whole-genome sequencing equipment has made it possible for clinical and public health labs to consider adding the technology to their arsenal. The NYSDOH’s Wadsworth Center in Albany, New York, was one of the first public health labs to make the investment – Cornell was able to provide the bioinformatics expertise to enable the lab to make sense of the data it would be collecting and to analyze it quickly.

Their proof of concept was published July 16 in the Centers of Disease Control journal Emerging Infectious Diseases in a paper that uses a case study of a salmonella outbreak in a long-term care facility to demonstrate how the technique could benefit public health labs.

In a regional collaboration, samples collected by the Connecticut Department of Public Health were sequenced by NYSDOH and analyzed by Cornell, and researchers discovered the outbreak was even larger than suspected. In addition to the seven residents identified in 2010 as being sickened in the outbreak, nine additional samples from patients in surrounding communities matched the main strain.

“This suggests a common contaminated source outside the long-term care facility. Knowledge of these cases at the time of the outbreak might have improved the chances of finding the outbreak source, which was never identified,” the researchers wrote in the paper.

The technique is already gaining traction in several other states through the GenomeTrakr initiative sponsored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is providing sequencing equipment, reagents, funds for personnel, and training on the equipment to seven State Public Health Laboratories including New York. In return, the public health labs upload raw sequence data to a centralized site for analysis. Any clusters that appear are reported back to local labs and epidemiologists, allowing for a quick, coordinated response.

The study was partly funded by a grant from the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the FDA and the NYSDOH Wadsworth Center).


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,400+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,700+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

On Planes, Savory Tomato Becomes Favored Flavor
Study shows the effect that airplane noise has on passengers' taste preferences.
Friday, May 15, 2015
On the Environmental Trail of Food Pathogens
Learning where Listeria dwells can aid the search for other food pathogens.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Ingested Nanoparticles May Damage Liver
Although nanoparticles in food, sunscreen and other everyday products have many benefits, researchers from Cornell are finding that at certain doses, the particles might cause human organ damage.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Dairy Farmers Should Alternate Pesticides to Kill Flies
Flies spread disease and a host of pathogens that cost farms hundreds of millions of dollars in annual losses.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
New York Secures $3.4M to Bolster Food Research
Funds will go toward the $13M needed to modernize the Fruit and Vegetable Processing Pilot Plant, Phase I of the proposed $47M Agricultural Science Research Laboratory project.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Cornell University at Forefront of Dairy Safety Outreach
Cornell’s Food Science Dairy Extension Program faculty and professionals are helping New York cheesemakers and dairy producers provide safe, high-quality products for consumers.
Friday, June 13, 2014
Paving the Way for Better Dietary Zinc Test
Cornell research unveils a new method to test for zinc deficiency, a vital measurement that has posed problems for doctors and scientists.
Friday, April 11, 2014
Senator to Tout Cornell Food Safety, Dairy Expertise to Feds
Cornell University is positioned to be a national center of excellence in dairy and food safety.
Monday, September 09, 2013
New Method Makes Puffed Rice Pop with More Nutrients
Puffed rice just got more snap, crackle and pop, thanks to a new method for making puffed rice that retains nutrients and allows producers to fortify cereals with vitamins and protein.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Green Food Labels Make Nutrition-Poor Food Seem Healthy
Consumers to perceive a candy bar as more healthful when it has a green calorie label compared to a red one.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Changes in Epigenome Control Tomato Ripening
Everyone loves a juicy, perfectly ripened tomato, and scientists have long sought ways to control the ripening process to improve fruit quality and prevent spoilage.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Grant Will Help Reduce Incidence of Johne's Disease in Dairy Cows
Dangerous bacterium in milk could also be linked to Crohn’s disease in humans.
Tuesday, January 08, 2013
Tracing Foodborne Pathogens on the Farm
Remote sensing, microbiology used to trace foodborne pathogens.
Thursday, December 06, 2012
Federal Grants will Fund Study of Food System, Environment
Cornell University grant will help tackle some of the biggest questions in affecting agriculture.
Thursday, November 01, 2012
Branding Sells Healthy Cafeterias Foods
A new study finds that children will choose healthier cafeteria foods if they are branded with stickers of popular culture figures.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Scientific News
Pesticide Found in 70 Percent of Massachusetts’ Honey Samples
New Harvard University study says that the pesticide commonly found in honey samples is implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder.
Printed "Smart Cap" Detects Spoiled Food
It might not be long before consumers can just hit “print” to create an electronic circuit or wireless sensor in the comfort of their homes.
Red Wine Antioxidant May Provide New Cancer Therapy Options
Resveratrol and quercetin, two polyphenols that have been widely studied for their health properties, may soon become the basis of an important new advance in cancer treatment,
New Research will Show How the Environment Could Change the Way We Eat
A new study funded by the Wellcome Trust will investigate how environmental changes over the next 20-30 years may impact the way we eat, in the UK and worldwide.
Blue LEDs Can be Used to Preserve Food
Blue light emitting diodes (LEDs) have strong antibacterial effect on major foodborne pathogens and can be used as a chemical-free food preservation method, a new study has found.
FDA Declares Trans Fatty Acids Unsafe for Consumption
TFAs are widely recognized as the most harmful fat with regard to causing cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Fat, Sugar Cause Bacterial Changes that may Relate to Loss of Cognitive Function
A study has indicated that both a high-fat and a high-sugar diet, compared to a normal diet, cause changes in gut bacteria that appear related to a significant loss of "cognitive flexibility," or the power to adapt and adjust to changing situations.
How Anthrax Spores Grow in Cultured Human Tissues
New findings to help predict risk and outcomes of anthrax attacks.
Food Research at the Microscale
Thermal stage microscopy allows food science microscopists to analyze samples under a range of conditions.
Chocolate, Chocolate, It's Good For Your Heart
Here's a sweet notion: Eat a little chocolate each day and you could be doing your heart a favor.
SELECTBIO

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,400+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!