Credit: Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID, NIH
Source (public domain)
Salmonella spp. remain a leading cause of human foodborne disease in many countries, including Canada. Salmonella is ubiquitous in the natural environment, and many opportunities exist for cross-contamination during the production, harvest, processing and/or distribution of foodstuffs. The focus of the research in the Salmonella lab is on the generation of scientific data in support of human health risk assessments of novel foods and food processes, and on the development and evaluation of methods for the rapid and reliable detection and molecular characterization of foodborne Salmonella spp. in the Canadian food chain. Current culture-based methods used for the detection of Salmonella spp. in foods are time-consuming, and alternative methods for rapid, sensitive and specific detection of this bacterium in foods are needed. In order to address this need, molecular detection methods (multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), real-time PCR, microarrays etc.) are being developed for the detection and characterization of the most prevalent Canadian serotypes. Improved detection methodology, and determination of the prevalence of this organism in the Canadian food supply is critical for the development of effective interventions to eliminate Salmonella in foods.
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