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A Nanotechnology Biosensor for Salmonella Detection

by 5m Editor
17 March 2008, at 9:47am

US - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has published a handbook called the Bad Bug Book which provides basic facts regarding foodborne pathogenic microorganisms and natural toxins.

It contains all you always wanted to know about Salmonella, E. coli, parasitic protozoa, worms, viruses and natural toxins and other stuff that, when it gets in your hamburger, as it does from time to time, can make you pretty sick. It can even kill you. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) keep some pretty scary statistics and estimate that foodborne pathogens cause approximately 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths in the United States each year.

Three pathogens, Salmonella, Listeria, and Toxoplasma, are responsible for 1,500 deaths each year. Salmonella is the most common cause of foodborne deaths and responsible for millions of cases of foodborne illness a year. Sources are raw and undercooked eggs, undercooked poultry and meat, dairy products, seafood, fruits and vegetables - so basically more or less everything you eat. Early detection of foodborne pathogenic bacteria, especially Salmonella, is therefore an important task in microbiological analysis to control food safety. Several methods have been developed in order to detect this pathogen; however, the biggest challenges remain detection speed and sensitivity. A novel nanotechnology-based biosensor is showing great potential for foodborne pathogenic bacteria detection with high accuracy.

"Early detection of foodborne pathogenic bacteria is critical to prevent disease outbreaks and preserve public health" Bosoon Park tells Nanowerk. "Current detection techniques such as ISO method 6579, fluorescent-antibody (FA), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) are time-consuming, cumbersome, and have limited sensitivity."

Park, an Agricultural Engineer at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was part of a team that included scientists from the University of Georgia and the Korea Food Research Institute and that developed a novel and effective food-borne bacteria detection method.

Source: NanoWerk

5m Editor