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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Molecular Characterization of Foodborne Pathogens Research » Research » Research Project #437793

Research Project: Characterization of Foodborne Pathogens Through Biomolecular Characterization of Extraintestinal Pathogenic E. Coli (ExPEC)

Location: Molecular Characterization of Foodborne Pathogens Research

Project Number: 8072-42000-091-001-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2021
End Date: Jun 30, 2023

Objective:
The objective of this agreement is to collaborate with scientists at the University of Naples, Federico II through the exchange of research ideas, planning and conducting research in the ARS’ and the Cooperator’s laboratories, discussion of results, and publication of the research in scientific journals. The research collaborations related to food safety and control of foodborne pathogens include: Development of new technologies to detect and characterize extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) and characterize the strains to determine their virulence, antibiotic resistance profiles, and resistance to interventions used to control pathogens in foods. There is considerable interest in ExPEC in the U.S. and in Italy; however, in Italy, only a few studies have been conducted on these pathogens to understand their characteristics and their presence in food. Also, ARS has an interest in the characteristics of ExPEC from animals, food, and humans in Italy. The Cooperator will use technologies used by ARS to isolate and characterize ExPEC strains in Italy, and through their collaboration, new and improved technologies will be developed and evaluated. In addition, the Cooperator has access to numerous plant extracts and has collaborated with other scientists in Italy who have experience in the preparation and testing of plant extracts for activity against foodborne pathogens. ARS also has some experience with testing of plant extracts against pathogens, and therefore, collaborative research will be discussed. Other collaborative work related to the objectives of the current ARS project plan will also be discussed.

Approach:
The focus of this agreement is to collaborate on research of mutual interest to ARS and the University of Naples, Federico II. This will be accomplished through the exchange of research ideas and information/publications, planning and conducting research of mutual interest in the ARS’ and Cooperator’s laboratories, discussion of results, and publication of the research in scientific journals. Initial collaborative research will consist of the following; however, additional research on foodborne pathogens of importance to both parties will also be conducted. The work will focus on: 1) develop new technologies to detect and characterize extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC) and characterize the strains to determine their virulence, antibiotic resistance profiles, and resistance to interventions used to control pathogens in foods, 2) identify and include ExPEC virulence genes and antibiotic resistance genes as targets in the AgriSeq molecular serotyping system developed within ARS, 3) test ExPEC strains in the ARS collection and other ExPEC isolated from humans and food using the AgriSeq targeted sequencing system, 4) continue testing ExPEC strains for biofilm-forming ability, and 5) examine the relationship of ExPEC genotype to resistance to interventions.