Molecular typing Fingerprinting of foodborne pathogens
Thousands of people are affected every year by diseases caused by foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli, hepatitis A virus and Listeria monocytogenes. Preventing or controlling outbreaks of these diseases is a priority for public health authorities.
Increasingly, scientists are using a technique called molecular typing or DNA fingerprinting to investigate foodborne outbreaks and pinpoint their source. This technique is also used in forensic medicine.
Molecular typing is a way of identifying specific strains of microorganisms, such as bacteria or viruses, by looking at their genetic material. It is mainly used to pinpoint the source of foodborne outbreaks. It can also be used to identify which microorganisms are:
Through whole genome sequencing, scientists
If scientists find a match, they can accurately identify the food responsible for the outbreak.
Molecular typing techniques are transforming the way that scientists identify and investigate outbreaks of foodborne diseases. The wealth of data is opening up exciting areas of research and innovative techniques for safeguarding Europe’s food.