Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/15/2007
Publication Date: 9/2/2007
Citation: Fratamico, P.M. 2007. Society for general microbiology m. Meeting Abstract. P.31.
Technical Abstract: The analysis of food and water for the presence of bacterial, viral, and parasitic pathogens is critical for ensuring public health. The traditional approach for bacterial pathogen detection involves enrichment in a suitable growth medium, followed by plating onto selective agar(s) and confirmation of presumptive bacterial isolates using a number of biochemical and serological tests. However, traditional methods are labor intensive and time consuming. The need for a more rapid assessment of the microbial safety of food and water has led to the development of molecular methods, particularly polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assays, for pathogen detection. An important advance is the development of real-time PCR based on the detection and quantitation of a fluorescent reporter in a closed-tube format. Real-time chemistries allow for detection of amplification while the reaction is occurring, thus post-PCR processing for amplicon identification is not required. Applications of PCR assays include detection of specific food-borne pathogens in different types of complex matrices, simultaneous detection of more than one pathogen in a single sample, pathogen typing, and species identification. Real-time multiplex PCR assays, involving amplification of two or more target sequences simultaneously in one reaction, have the potential to decrease cost, time, and effort in pathogen detection. Nanotechnology, as it applies to diagnostics, is a rapidly developing molecular analysis technology that is driving the development of nanofluidic lab-on-a-chip systems. Microminiaturization of nucleic acid-based techniques will have a significant impact on food and water testing, potentially enabling the assays to be performed using portable instruments in non-laboratory settings.