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A novel platform allows rapid detection of pathogens on food

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21 April 2020

Food borne diseases are a major global public health concern. Therefore appropriate monitoring of potentially contaminated foods is critical. 

Muriel Cozier

Pathogens that contaminate food are easily transmitted to humans, so early detection is essential. The traditional culturing methods for detecting pathogenic bacteria are time consuming. A research team in China argue that although a national molecular tracing network for food borne disease was established in the country during 2013, the demand means that there is a now a need for the development of new tools and techniques that allow accurate, rapid and easy detection of harmful pathogens.

Currently polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is the most powerful analytical method of nucleic acid detection due to its higher sensitivity and specificity. However is does have some drawbacks, on a practical level these include the fact that it is time consuming, requires expensive equipment and is not necessarily widely available. 

In this study, a research team supported by several bodies including the Provincial Key Research & Development Program of Hebei, developed a novel self priming compartmentalization (SPC) micro device, for performing high throughput visual detection of food borne pathogens. 

The research team said that fabrication of the micro device is simple as it can be automatically machined and it can be sealed by means of compatible adhesive tape. The micro device can be used to simultaneously identify six food borne pathogens. The researchers conclude that the micro device, which is manufactured from poly methyl methacrylate (PMMA), has considerable potential as tool for quick detection of multiple pathogens that may be present on food. 

Journal of Chemical Technology & Biotechnology doi.org/10.1002/jctb.6331 

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