PathogenDx, Inc., a US based technology company which has developed a multiplexed microarray DNA-based pathogen testing platform, announced that it will collaborate with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to study the effectiveness of its microarray testing technology in identifying food borne pathogens throughout the food supply chain.
ARS is the USDA's chief scientific in-house research agency, and they have a mission to deliver scientific solutions to national and global agricultural challenges. In recent years, there have been numerous recalls and disease outbreaks due to dangerous bacteria, such as E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes.
According to CDC estimates, 1 in every 5 foodborne illnesses are due to the consumption of contaminated fresh produce. Contamination can happen at nearly any point in the supply chain, from unclean water used to irrigate crops to dirty conveyor belts used to transport food.
Test turnaround time and accuracy are of the utmost importance when it comes to perishable items that rapidly move from the farm to the fork.
PathogenDx's unique technology consists of swabs that can conveniently test food contact surfaces at any point in the supply chain. Their ultra-rapid method provides results in just six hours - a fraction of the time that culture or qRT-PCR methods take, which average 2-3 days.
In addition, their microarray technology tests each microbe in triplicate while testing multiple pathogens at the same time, improving accuracy and saving both time and money. As part of the collaboration, PathogenDx's rapid detection testing technology will be used on post-harvest sources of contamination.