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Integrated Biosensor-Based Processes for Multipathogenic Analyte Detection

Uhlich, Gaylen; Tu, Shu-I; Paoli, George; Irwin, Peter; Gehring, Andrew; Chen, Chin-Yi; Brewster, Jeffrey
USDA - Agricultural Research Service
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The ultimate goal of this project is to develop rapid, specific, and sensitive biosensor-based assays for diverse pathogenic bacteria which can be widely adopted in applications ranging from simple field tests to high speed, high throughput laboratory screening assays. To meet this goal, several objectives will be pursued:
  1. Develop specific, high affinity biorecognition reagents for food-borne pathogens and toxins.
  2. Develop rapid and effective means to separate and concentrate targeted pathogens without carryover of background organisms.
  3. Develop integrated assay systems based on multiple target biosensor platforms.
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Approach: The primary objective of the proposed research is to develop biosensor processes thatare capable of detecting multiple pathogens of food safety and food security concern.

We plan to concentrate our research on a few selected pathogens: E. coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella and Yersinia spp. Unless otherwise indicated, all experiments conducted with cells of Y. pestis or other biosafety level 3 (BSL3) pathogens will be conducted in house using non-virulent BSL2 surrogate strains. Collaborative arrangements have been made for evaluation of the developed methods with virulent strains. Methods will generally be developed with culture media as the sample matrix, and then extended to food samples containing the target pathogen. The efficacy of developed methods will be primarily tested in ground beef, ready-to-eat meats and liquid eggs. Modification of the plan to include other pathogens and foods will be determined by ARS needs. To facilitate the progress of planned research, we will seek useful advice and/or input from our colleagues in other Research Units at the Eastern Regional Research Center (ERRC).

Funding Source
Agricultural Research Service
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Escherichia coli
Bacterial Pathogens
Natural Toxins