The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Panel on Biological Hazards has issued a Scientific Opinion following an evaluation of molecular typing methods for the important foodborne microbial pathogens Salmonella, Campylobacter, shiga toxin-producing E. coli and Listeria monocytogenes.
The Opinion covers the first of a two-part evaluation of molecular typing methods, including whole genome sequencing technologies. It focuses on the discriminatory capacity of the methods, their reproducibility, repeatability and suitability for international harmonisation, along with their potential public health applications. Such applications include outbreak detection and investigation, attribution modelling and early identification of foodborne strains with epidemic potential.
Recommendations are also made on the future use of molecular typing methods for foodborne pathogens, with the emphasis being on properly structured international coordination. The aim is to help overcome current limitations in harmonisation of data analysis and investigation.
The Opinion can be found in full on the EFSA website here.