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Development of Microarray for the Rapid and Simultaneous Detection and Tracking of Bacterial and Viral Foodborne Pathogens

Acute infectious diarrheal diseases are increasingly recognized as a significant global public health problem despite major advances and improvements in hygiene, the quality of food, water and sanitation, detection of foodborne pathogens, and the surveillance systems during the last century. They not only cause millions of gastroenteritis cases annually in individual countries, but also are a social and economic burden. The continued emergence, development and spread of antimicrobial resistance among these diarrheal diseases are also a major concern. The proposed research program is intended to develop new and improved diagnostic methods and related materials and tools as systems for rapid, sensitive and definitive detection, diagnosis and characterization of some of the most important causes of infectious bacterial and viral diarrhea. The working hypothesis for this research project is development of rapid and sensitive identification and tracking system for bacterial and viral diarrheal pathogens. These methods will enable the development and implementation of science-based measures to detect, track, eliminate or reduce diarrheal and antimicrobial resistant pathogens in the population.

This project will involve:

  1. Identification of primers/probes of specific gene alleles of bacterial and viral pathogens described that will lead to the development of effective identification and tracking systems.
  2. Identification of antimicrobial resistance genes in bacterial pathogens that will be used as a marker to subtype and track distinct multi-drug resistant diarrheal pathogenic strains.
  3. Development of field-deployable oligonucleotide microarray system for identification of multiple bacterial and viral distinct diarrheic pathogens simultaneously.
    These state-of-the-art molecular assays will be developed and validated using well-characterized strains of pathogens including human caliciviruses (noroviruses), Salmonella spp, Campylobacter spp, Listeria monocytogenes, Shigella spp and Escherichia coli.


Siddhartha Thakur
Wondwossen A. Gebreyes (Principle Investigator)