Genetic code sequencing of 100,000 food pathogens will provide roadmap to help identify causes of outbreaks
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the University of California, Davis,Agilent Technologies Inc., and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced today a collaboration to create a public database of 100,000 foodborne pathogen genomes to help speed identification of bacteria responsible for foodborne outbreaks.
The database will provide a roadmap for development of tests to identify pathogens and provide information about the origin of the pathogen. The tests have the potential to significantly reduce the typical public health response time in outbreaks of foodborne illness to days instead of weeks.
Open access to the database will allow researchers to develop tests that can identify the type of bacteria present in a sample within a matter of days or hours, significantly faster than the approximately one week it now takes between diagnosis and genetic analysis.
Conceived by UC Davis, Agilent, and FDA and called “The 100K Genome Project,” the collaboration will be a five-year effort to sequence the genetic code of approximately 100,000 important foodborne pathogens and make this information available in a free, public database. The sequencing will include the genomes of important foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli.