Because some pathogens have a low infectious dose, relatively small numbers of pathogenic bacteria in food are likely to cause disease. Additionally, the interference caused by components of food, environmental factors, or fecal samples leads to increased background signals and false positive results, thereby reducing the diagnostic specificity of the methodology. Recent advances in microbial detection technologies have aimed to achieve faster and more sensitive identification of the target pathogen, using novel molecular approaches. When coupled with robust sample preparation methods, these new detection assays can rapidly detect a target pathogen while addressing the issues associated with interference caused by complex food matrices. An ideal detection method that is capable of rapidly detecting and confirming the presence of pathogens directly from complex food samples with no false positive or false negative results remains elusive. With regard to L. monocytogenes, unique genotypes of this pathogen are commonly found in different processing plants. However, current molecular subtyping methods have not revealed the genetic basis for its persistence. A novel model was developed in which the comK prophage was re-characterized as a putative Rapid Adaptation Island (RAI), which undergoes extensive recombination to allow rapid niche-specific adaptation and persistence. These recent developments permit routes of contamination to be identified and the tracking of these dangerous sub-clones to their source.
Session 132 Emerging and Novel Trends in Rapid Diagnostic and Subtyping Methods for Foodborne Pathogens on Monday on Monday morning from 10:30 am–12:00 pm in Room 391 will introduce recent and novel advances in the field of rapid detection methodology as well as emerging methods used to subtype foodborne pathogens. Using L. monocytogenes as an example, speakers will emphasize emerging molecular methods that take advantage of next generation sequencing technology as a way to rapidly identify specific targets and approaches to bacterial detection. Speakers will also discuss emerging approaches to rapid and simple multiplex detection of foodborne pathogens.