PathoGenetix Inc., a MA-based developer of bacterial identification technology, has presented new research that demonstrates its Genome Sequence Scanning. The company showed attendees at the American Society for Microbiology general meeting in Denver that the GSS technology could confirm and identify pathogenic Salmonella strains in enriched spinach samples in under five hours.
According to the company, because GSS isolates and scans microbial DNA directly from a mixed culture and does not require a pure culture isolate, it greatly reduces the time, complexity, skill and cost required by other molecular and whole genome identification approaches. This means the technology can empower food companies and public agencies to react more quickly to contamination incidents and better safeguard consumer health.
The research spiked ten common Salmonella strains in leafy spinach; additional non-Salmonella bacteria were added to half of the test samples to evaluate the technology’s ability to identify and strain type Salmonella in the presence of competing background microorganisms. The GSS reportedly delivered correct identifications in 116 of the samples; four fell short due to poor pathogen propagation, rather than technological failure.
The Centers for Disease control puts Salmonella as the second most common pathogen causing foodborne illnesses. It causes more than 1 million illnesses annually, with more than 19,000 hospitalizations and nearly 400 deaths each year.
In addition to the research surrounding Salmonella identification, the PathoGenetix staff also showed GSS can be used to differentiate and strain type pathogenic E. coli. GSS will be launched commercially as part of its RESOLUTION microbial genotyping system sometime next year.