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  1. CFSAN Constituent Updates

How Whole Genome Sequencing Helps Protect the Food Supply

Constituent Update

April 27, 2017

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) is an advanced technology that the FDA is increasingly using to better understand foodborne pathogens, including identifying the nature and source of microbes that contaminate food and cause outbreaks of illness. For example, it was recently used to help match samples of soft cheese to the genetic fingerprint of Listeria monocytogenes involved in a deadly foodborne illness outbreak in early March.

The FDA has been a leader in spreading the use of this technology in government labs at the state, federal, and international levels. Eric Brown, Ph.D., the director of the Division of Microbiology at FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, and Marc Allard, Ph.D., the center’s senior biomedical research services officer for genomics, talk about how the agency is using WGS now and the future role of this technology in keeping consumers safe from contaminated foods.

For More Information

A Conversation with Eric Brown and Marc Allard

A podcast of the interview with Drs. Brown and Allard (NOTE: If the audio file does not open, right click on the link and save the mp3 file first, then play from your computer.)(/downloads/Food/FoodScienceResearch/WholeGenomeSequencingProgramWGS/UCM555281.mp3. (MP3, 38.9MB)

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