Viability Assay for Foodborne Bacterial Pathogens
There are an estimated 76 million cases of foodborne illness in the United States annually, resulting in 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths. The financial impact has been estimated at $35 billion. Bacterial pathogens account for 14 million of the total cases. To assure food safety, monitoring of these pathogens is a critical component. Cultivation is the gold standard; however, it is laborious and time consuming. Alternative methods are commercially available, but they do not provide information on viability and could result in the rejection of production lots that would be acceptable by cultivation. The measurement of cellular adenosine triphosphate is an accepted method of testing for viability that is used within the food industry for monitoring hygiene. These methods do not differentiate between pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria and therefore, do not provide information regarding the safety of the food. We are currently developing a biosensor for detecting pathogens in foods. In the current format, however, it is not capable of differentiating between live and dead cells. Therefore, we propose to evaluate and enzyme system for incorporation into the biosensor that facilities the measurement of bacterial adenosine triphosphate thus permitting the quantitation of viable numbers of specific pathogenic bacteria in foods.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Hawaii Biotechnology Group, Inc.
99-193 Heights Dr., Ste 236 Aiea, HI 96701
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