An in situ-Synthesized Gene Chip for the Detection of Food-Borne Pathogens on Fresh-Cut Cantaloupe and Lettuce

Food-borne pathogens are one of the major reasons behind endangering the life and safety of people across the globe. Fresh foods are specifically more vulnerable to these pathogens, making it crucial to have a very efficient food safety surveillance technology. The development of such technology will help in offering rapid detection of food-borne pathogens. In the present study, researchers developed an In-situ synthesized gene chip for the detection of the food-borne pathogen. Here the researchers first identified and screened the target genes by comparing the sequences of common food-borne pathogens like Salmonella, Vibrio parahemolyticus, Staphylococcus Aureus, Listeria monocytogenes and E.coli 0157:H7 from the NCBI database. Unique tilling array probes were designed that helps to target the selected genes in an optimized hybridization system. The resultant assay showed high specificity along with strong amplification signals. The results were highly accurate with a detection limit of approximately 3 log cfu/g without culturing. The detection time for the five target food-borne pathogens on the fresh-cut cantaloupe and lettuces was found to be 24 hours. This highlights the great efficacy of the detection system to rapidly monitor the pathogens on the fresh food items. Such a system can be easily incorporated as an efficient food surveillance system for checking the logistical distribution chain, the food at the processing stage, cleaning condition at the food manufacturing plants, transport, sales and more. The technology is considered valuable as it supports the safety of fresh agricultural products, reducing the overall wastage of food due to infectious pathogens.