Summary of Awards to Date

Toward a rapid and reliable pathogen detection system in produce.

Date

Jan. 1, 2012 - Dec. 31, 2013

Award Number

2012-168

Funding Agency

Center for Produce Safety

Amount Awarded

$152,591.00

Investigator

Jianghong Meng, Ph.D.
University of Maryland

Summary

Recent outbreaks linked to Salmonella- and E. coli-contaminated produce pose a significant threat to public health and the produce industry. Through a project previously funded by CPS, we developed a rapid, accurate, yet simple and cost-effective molecular testing method termed “LAMP” for live Salmonella detection in produce. In this proposal, LAMP will be further developed and validated to be a rapid andreliable pathogen detection system for both Salmonella and E. coli in produce. Specifically, we will develop and validate LAMP detection of low levels of these pathogens in various produce items using conditions mimicking real-world contamination events. Specific objectives include: 1) To developand evaluate LAMP assays for E. coli pathogens; 2) To evaluate the robustness of the LAMP detection system for both Salmonella and E. coli; and 3) To validate the system in complex produce matrices. Rapid, accurate, simple, and robust detection of important human pathogens in produce will provide the produce industry an invaluable tool to better control potential microbial contaminants, therefore significantly reducing the number of outbreaks and illnesses associated with fresh produce.