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Bacterial Identification System Differentiates Virulent “Big 6” E. Coli Strains in Five Hours
Date:6/5/2013

Woburn, MA (PRWEB) June 05, 2013

PathoGenetix, Inc., developer of an automated system for rapid bacterial identification, has presented new research demonstrating the use of Genome Sequence Scanning™ (GSS™) to identify and differentiate virulent Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) strains directly from enriched food samples in five hours. The results, which were detailed in a poster presented at the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) Annual Meeting on Sunday, have significant implications for food producers required to test their products for pathogens with certain virulence characteristics, and for public health agencies needing to quickly identify and find the source of foodborne illness outbreaks.

The research tested representative strains of the pathogenic “Big 6” STECs, which contained the stx and eae virulence genes, as well as non-STEC Big 6 E. coli, on PathoGenetix’s Genome Sequence Scanning system. GSS successfully identified and differentiated each serovar of the Big 6 STEC E. coli. In addition, preliminary data showed the potential to differentiate Big 6 STECs from Big 6 E. coli of the same serotype that do not possess the stx and/or eae virulence genes. The current criteria for determining the presence of a Big 6 pathogen is the identification of the presence of both of these virulence genes in a Big 6 serovar.

The most common STEC serotype is O157:H7, which food producers have been testing for since 1994. Last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) added six additional pathogenic E. coli serotypes (O26, O45, O103, O
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