Agilent Technologies Inc.
announced that it has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development
Agreement with the United States Food and Drug Administration to develop new
tools to detect and analyze pathogens in food.
The joint R&D effort
will also seek to improve DNA-based tools for confirming that seafood is
The goal of the first part
of the project is to develop a novel assay panel to identify subtypes of
salmonella in food. When outbreaks occur, knowing the subtype can help
officials quickly identify the source of the pathogen and hopefully limit the
number of victims. The research will focus on using mass spectrometry-based
genotyping to quickly identify salmonella subtypes.
The second part of the agreement—to be carried out in collaboration with
both the FDA and the Campden BRI laboratory in the U.K.—aims to update Agilent’s lab-on-a-chip
method of DNA analysis to identify fish species. Agilent’s analytical technique
can identify species even after the fish has been processed, which generally
removes identifying features such as the head, tail, and skin. The technology
is based on the Agilent Bioanalyzer, using restriction fragment length
polymorphism. The goal is to make this technology fast, inexpensive, and simple
enough that many kinds of laboratories can use it on a routine basis. This type
of test could detect such things as intentional mislabeling to avoid tariffs
and import restrictions or economic fraud where a less expensive species of
fish is sold as a more costly species.
Agilent Technologies Inc., www.agilent.com