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Molecular and Biochemical Detection and Intervention


Research will focus on four main objectives designed to enhance the safety of
aquaculture products, to: <ol>
<li> Continue to develop rapid, enzyme-based assays to detect
bacterial pathogens in aquaculture products; <li> identify RT-PCR inhibitors and
develop real-time molecular methods to detect and quantify viral pathogens in
shellfish tissues; <li> Investigate physical and chemical parameters influencing the
efficiency of high hydrostatic pressure inactivation of hepatitis A virus, norovirus,
and surrogate viruses; <li> Investigate the mechanisms of enteric virus persistence
within live shellfish.</ol>
<p>Develop more effective means for decontaminating fresh and minimally processed fruits and vegetables containing human pathogens to ensure food safety and security by assessing the efficacy of new and/or improved intervention technologies. This maintains the flexibility to expand research efforts on produced when and where necessary.</p>

More information

Approach:<BR>We propose to use a wide variety of protein chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology,
virology, molecular biology and food technology principles and techniques to: <ol>
develop molecular biological and enzyme-based assays to detect specific pathogens in
shellfish tissues as well as processing interventions to inactivate enteric viruses
that contaminate shellfish; <li> screen for, identify and characterize novel enzyme
activities associated with bacterial pathogens to develop rapid, enzyme-based assays
for their detection; <li> develop improved virus extraction procedures for shellfish
with the intent to characterize and eliminate potential inhibitors of real-time RT-
PCR methods; <li> explore the mechanism by which high pressure processing inactivates
hepatitis A virus and noroviruses to determine the physical and chemical parameters
that influence processing effectiveness, <li> participate in a human volunteer study to
determine the effectiveness of high pressure processing to inactivate noroviruses in
oysters; <li> evaluate the mechanism by which enteric viruses persist within
shellfish with the goal of developing improved shellfish disinfection and detection
methods. We will accomplish these tasks in collaboration with Federal, State, and
industry partners and distribute new methods and information to our stakeholders,
especially the aquaculture industry and regulatory agencies. Together, these studies
will enchance seafood safety and quality for all Americans.</ol>

Richards, Gary; Kingsley, David
USDA - Agricultural Research Service
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