Rapid Detection of Major Food-borne Pathogens

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43AI052684-01A1
Agency Tracking Number: AI052684
Amount: $211,706.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2003
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (301) 983-1650
Business Contact
Phone: (301) 983-1650
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Our food is a major source of illness. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that food-borne diseases cause approximately 76 million incidents of illness, resulting in 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths annually in the U.S. Known pathogens were implicated in 14 million of these incidents, 60,000 associated hospitalizations, and 1,800 deaths. Four pathogens alone (E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria, and Campylobacter) are believed to account for over two-thirds of deaths caused by known pathogens. The goal of our research is to achieve rapid, sensitive, and simple detection of pathogenic bacteria and toxins commonly found in foods by applying a new, very sensitive technology known as the "Integrating Waveguide Biosensor". This technology was recently developed by the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and is being licensed to Creatv MicroTech for application in the fields of water and food safety testing. NRL's initial experimental results for two molecules showed the Integrating Waveguide Biosensor to be 100 times more sensitive than the previous generation of biosensors based on optical fibers and planar arrays. We expect to achieve a similar improvement in sensitivity for detection of pathogens in food in a test that can be completed in less than 30 minutes. The resulting device will be ideally suited to the prevention of food-borne diseases. The initial scope in Phase I will focus on E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella bacteria in ground beef and apple juice. A test instrument will be constructed incorporating the biosensor technology, assays will be developed and verified for the specified pathogens, and tests performed on food samples. In Phase II the scope will be expanded to include the pathogens Listeria monocytogenes and Campylobacter jejuni and the food groups poultry and fresh produce. The instrument will be redesigned to be more compact and portable, and assays developed for use outside a laboratory setting. Tests will be performed on location where these foods are produced, transported and/or prepared.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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