The USDA’S Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and other stakeholders are involved.
It will look at FSIS' and other agencies' practices and plans for collecting and analyzing WGS data of bacteria isolated from official samples as well as the science surrounding the technology.
WGS analyses can determine sequence relatedness between bacterial isolates with higher resolution than analytical methods including pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), FSIS' current method.
FSIS plans to expand use of WGS analysis to bacteria isolated from sampling projects to aid in identifying and responding to outbreaks, conducting traceback and studying the environmental harborage and movement of pathogens in regulated establishments.
In 2013, CDC, FDA, FSIS and the NCBI worked with local, state and international partners on a pilot study of WGS-based surveillance for Listeria monocytogenes (Lm).
“From our Lm WGS pilot experience, it is anticipated that the application of WGS analyses will lead to greater efficiencies, by consolidating laboratory workflows into a single step for bacterial characterization,” said FSIS.
The public meeting is October 26 and 27 from 8am to 4:45pm EST at the Jefferson Auditorium in the South Building of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Pre-registration is mandatory.