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Sbir Phase Ii: A Rapid Foodborne Pathogen Analyzer

Investigators
Huang, Hermes C
Institutions
Real-Time Analyzers, Inc
Start date
2013
End date
2015
Abstract

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project proposes to develop a prototype foodborne pathogen analyzer that will employ a novel credit card sized sampling device to extract, detect, identify, and quantify the presence of specific pathogens in food matrices in 1 - 2 hours at the required sensitivity (10 - 100 cfu/g). The goal is to extend the successful Phase I measurements of 104 cfu/g Salmonella typhimurium in spinach within 2 hours to 10-100 cfu/g S. typhimurium on equipment and in cheese, Listeria monocytogenes in cantaloupe, Escherichia coli O157:H7 in ground beef, and Campylobacter jejuni in poultry. Foodborne diseases affect as many as 50 million people in the United States each year, resulting in 130,000 hospitalizations and over 3,000 deaths. Unfortunately, current methods used to detect these pathogens rely on lengthy growth enrichment steps that take 1 - 4 days, negating effective prevention of contaminated food distribution and consumption. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project, if successful, will be the development of a platform technology to detect pathogens on food handling equipment or in food in 1 - 2 hours. This will benefit the food industry by increasing productivity, minimizing withdrawals and recalls, and most importantly, minimizing illness outbreaks and potentially saving lives. The small footprint of the analyzer will allow measurements in process plants and supporting labs, and eventually, at food sources, ports, and inspection stations. It can also speed the process of identifying the source of an outbreak, helping minimize illnesses and deaths. The knowledge gained by developing the proposed sampling system will allow developing similar systems that can monitor pathogens in water supplies, detect bioagents in air, and infectious pathogens in hospital patients (e.g. detection of Staphylococcus aureus, human immunodeficiency virus, Mycobacterium tuberculosis).

Funding Source
United States Nat'l. Science Fndn.
Project source
View this project
Project number
1330886
Categories
Bacterial Pathogens
Commodities
Dairy
Produce