Monday, April 06, 2009

Philippine Researchers Develop Food Pathogen Detection Kit

Researchers from the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (BIOTECH), University of the Philippines Los BaƱos (UPLB) have recently put into market DNA Amplification System (DASTM)), a detection kit for the presence of the deadly strain Eschericia coli 0157:H, gastro-intestinal disease-causing Salmonella and Staphyloccoccus aureaus. The developed kit can also detect the presence of Eschericia coli contamination, which serves as indicator for the presence of bacteria causing gastro-intestinal-related diseases.

The DASTM kit is pathogen specific, accurate and a highly sensitive system that utilizes polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology. After binding to very specific primers, small fragments of the DNA segments of the pathogenic microorganisms are amplified into million-fold copies, thus allowing for the detection of the presence of the pathogenic microorganism. The control of pathogens in food production and early detection of microbial contamination are important to ensure food safety and disease prevention. The developed kit, which provides definitive results and does not need for confirmatory tests, can be utilized by the animal industry, food industry, government regulatory agencies, health institutions and quarantine and service laboratories.

The Philippines' Department of Science and Technology together with the UPLB-BIOTECH provided the research grants in the development of this DASTM kits. Last March 17-18, 2009, the product developers conducted a training on the use of DASTM kits. The event was attended by food manufacturers, researchers, food and feed regulators, and technical people from the quarantine and service laboratories.

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