Expert webinar on Food pathogens (WP3)

Monday, June 6, 2016

The presentations and the discussion identified topics regarding the improved DNA-based detection of food pathogens within the Decathlon project, in particular:
·  DNA extraction methods from food samples;
·  Rapid DNA-based detection tools for food pathogen typing;
·  NGS-based multi-detection approaches for EHEC detection in food samples.
The webinar was successfully held, evolving into a series of relevant conclusions for the consortium. The participants had different backgrounds and profiles from various organizations and countries; in addition, they had experience with food pathogen detections. There was an overview of the problems with overall consensus of possible solutions, which was quite positive.  However, it was also understood that some bottlenecks hampering the food pathogen detection method analysis are the difficulties of direct DNA-based detection, technical problems of increasing size and volume of the samples, and the filtration steps.  The Decathlon project will continue working on the multiplex PCR- or real-time PCR-based approaches to detect food pathogens as well as by the use of LAMP assays. Inputs from all stakeholders will be taken into consideration.
The methods to be developed and implemented should be more cost-efficient and a user-friendly tool to explain the method application should be developed, especially in the use of NGS approaches. Solving the problem of DNA detection also from dead bacteria upon direct detection approaches is an important issue to be taken into account in the future. The stakeholders look forward to a faster way/method to detect food pathogens, which can be obtained from the Decathlon project and are willing to contribute to the project.