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Cellular Fatty Acids for Monitoring Colonic Microflora

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 22197
Amount: $36,915.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 1993
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
1861 Pratt Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24060
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Robert J. Carman
 (703) 231-3943
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution

Non-nutritive food additives and antibiotics are entering the food chain in ever increasing amounts. Consequently, there is increased public health concerns over the effects these compounds may have on the human intestinal microflora. Shifts in populations of intestinal bacteria can result in colonic disorders such diarrhea, flatulence and decreased resistance to intestinal pathogens. Whereas there are several ways to monitor the effects of food additives on the flora's metabolic activity, there is still no feasible way to screen for changes in bacterial populations. Classical taxonomic techniques involve costly culturing which cannot be adapted to large numbers of samples. However, analysis of cellular fatty acids (CFAs) by gas chromatography, which is used to rapidly identify bacteria, can now be adapted using new statistical methods to determine the relatedness among bacterial populations. The studies herein will determine the feasibility of using CFA analysis to establish "fingerprints" for bacterial popula- tions in rodents and to resolve shifts in bacterial populations upon dietary intervention. As a rapid, and highly resolving technique, CFA fingerprinting of intestinal contents could become a preferred means by which food or pharmaceutical companies may monitor the effects of compounds in feeding trials during product development.

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

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