SBIR Phase I: Inhibition-Resistant DNA Polymerases and Other Improvements for Detection of Food-borne Pathogens.

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0945089
Agency Tracking Number: 0945089
Amount: $142,505.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: BC
Solicitation Number: NSF 09-541
Small Business Information
1508 S. Grand Blvd., Saint Louis, MO, 63104
DUNS: 124524989
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Milko Kermekchiev
 (314) 707-4919
Business Contact
 Milko Kermekchiev
Title: DSc
Phone: (314) 707-4919
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project proposes the improvement of real-time PCR, a DNA-based rapid-detection method, for detection of food-borne pathogens such as Salmonella. Current methods are inadequate to accurately detect pathogens in foods such as chocolate, soft-cheese, and milk, which are inhibitory to PCR. These foods present a challenge due to their interference with the sensitivity of the assay. Longer, more labor-intensive tests are required for these foods, as inaccurate detection can lead to potentially deadly false negatives. The proposed improvements will shorten and simplify pathogen detection for these foods. The novel inhibition-resistant mutant enzymes and enhancers can to applied to PCR, and simplify other stages of current protocols such as cultural enrichment (an incubation period usually required for pathogen detection) and sample preparation. These improvements may also allow for more rapid, accurate testing for a broad range of foods, not only those foods known to be inhibitory to PCR. The broader impacts of this research include a safer food supply, due to the faster, more accurate detection of food-borne pathogens. This will allow food producers and manufacturers to more quickly respond to any discovered contamination, and facilitate immediate recalls of infected food. For routine tests, these innovations will give testing labs accurate and reliable results, while saving them time, labor, and money.

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

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