Viability Assay for Foodborne Bacterial Pathogens

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2001-33610-10435
Agency Tracking Number: 2001-00267
Amount: $70,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2001
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Hawaii Biotechnology Group, Inc.
99-193 Heights Dr., Ste 236, Aiea, HI, 96701
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Steven Ogata
 (808) 486-5333
Business Contact
 David Watumull
Title: President
Phone: (808) 486-5333
Research Institution
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.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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