New tests could hamper food outbreak detection

December 11, 2012 by Lauran Neergaard

It's about to get faster and easier to diagnose food poisoning. But there's a downside: It could make it harder to spot and solve dangerous outbreaks.

Next-generation tests that could reach medical labs as early as next year could shave a few days off the time needed to tell whether E. coli, salmonella or other caused an illness. That could allow doctors to treat diseases more quickly.

The problem is the new tests can't differentiate between bacteria subtypes. That fingerprint is what researchers use to identify the source of the .

Health officials that use the new could still send samples to a lab so that the older, slower test also could be performed. But it's not clear who would pay for that extra step.

Explore further: Researchers discover a natural food preservative that kills food-borne bacteria

shares

Related Stories

Researchers discover a natural food preservative that kills food-borne bacteria

August 4, 2011
University of Minnesota researchers have discovered and received a patent for a naturally occurring lantibiotic — a peptide produced by a harmless bacteria — that could be added to food to kill harmful bacteria ...

European E. coli confirmed in Arizona death

July 8, 2011
(AP) -- Health officials have confirmed the first American death tied to the food-poisoning outbreak in Europe.

Urinary tract infections linked to contaminated chicken

February 20, 2012
Urinary tract infections are common conditions that occur when bacteria from the intestines enter the urinary tract. New research, however, suggests that the bacteria causing these infections may come from contaminated food ...

Recommended for you

Research examines lung cell turnover as risk factor and target for treatment of influenza pneumonia

July 24, 2017
Influenza is a recurring global health threat that, according to the World Health Organization, is responsible for as many as 500,000 deaths every year, most due to influenza pneumonia, or viral pneumonia. Infection with ...

Scientists propose novel therapy to lessen risk of obesity-linked disease

July 24, 2017
With obesity related illnesses a global pandemic, researchers propose in the Journal of Clinical Investigation using a blood thinner to target molecular drivers of chronic metabolic inflammation in people eating high-fat ...

Raccoon roundworm—a hidden human parasite?

July 24, 2017
The raccoon that topples your trashcan and pillages your garden may leave more than just a mess. More likely than not, it also contaminates your yard with parasites—most notably, raccoon roundworms (Baylisascaris procyonis).

Google searches can be used to track dengue in underdeveloped countries

July 20, 2017
An analytical tool that combines Google search data with government-provided clinical data can quickly and accurately track dengue fever in less-developed countries, according to new research published in PLOS Computational ...

MRSA emerged years before methicillin was even discovered

July 19, 2017
Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) emerged long before the introduction of the antibiotic methicillin into clinical practice, according to a study published in the open access journal Genome Biology. It was ...

New test distinguishes Zika from similar viral infections

July 18, 2017
A new test is the best-to-date in differentiating Zika virus infections from infections caused by similar viruses. The antibody-based assay, developed by researchers at UC Berkeley and Humabs BioMed, a private biotechnology ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.