The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has announced that it is to support a $1.4 million research project to sequence and map the genomes of many Listeria isolates with a view to identifying the most important strains for food safety.
The research will be funded in partnership with Genome Canada, Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions and other partners from government and industry and is led by Dr Linda Chui of the University of Alberta. The project will identify the strains most likely to infect humans and those best able to survive in food processing facilities.
One of the main outcomes will be a database of Listeria genome sequences and genetic markers that can be used to detect pathogenic strains in food samples and in environmental samples from food factories. It is hoped that this will help in the development of better methods for screening for Listeria in food.
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