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Development of a Novel Nanoparticle-Based Method for Rapid, Ultrasensitive and Cost Effective Detection and Quantitation of Food-Borne Pathogens


Goal: To develop and evaluate a nanoparticle-based method that allows for single-cell detection and direct counting of cell numbers in a sample within tens of minutes at a low cost.
Specific objectives are:
<OL> <LI>
To establish the procedures based on dye-doped nanoparticles and a low-cost fluorescence reader so that single cells are "visible", and "countable" under the reader.
<LI> To develop the method for detection and quantitation of Salmonella species, E. coli O157:H7 and Cryptosporidium parvum.
<LI> To establish food sample preparation and associated procedures which are simple and effective to recover target cells, and can be linked to sensitive, reliable antibody based detection of pathogens in food samples.
<LI> To evaluate the method for its specificity, sensitivity (limit of detection) and applicability to food samples using pure cultures, spiked and naturally contaminated food samples.

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Expected Benefits:
Development of a low-cost method for rapid, sensitive detection and quantitation of pathogens in foods. Availability of the method will allow diagnostic labs to provide rapid, cost-effective results to food industries and government agencies, and/or allow food industries to have fast on-site results. The rapid, sensitive, quantitative and potentially multiplexed results will help scientists to carry out systematic assessments of risks to public safety, support implementation of HACCP and quality assurance programs throughout the food chain. This will help to ensure that Ontario agri food industries remain competitive in providing safe foods to consumers.<P> For more information, please visit the <a href="; target="_blank">Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) Food Safety Research Program</a>.

Chen, Shu
University of Guelph
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