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Project Details

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Novel, quantifiable diagnostic for Campylobacter detection on poultry carcasses.
Summary Campylobacter is a significant foodborne hazard often associated with poultry meat. The probability of illness is related to the dose of bacteria ingested. A rapid diagnostic which could be done inhouse, have sensitivity <6,000 CFU/carcass and be quantifiable would have great benefit to industry. Currently testing is generally done using microbiological plating and enumeration, which can take 24 days. Alternative, molecular methods offering greater sensitivity require specialised equipment and expert personnel. Internationally there is much research being undertaken into developing rapid diagnostics based on biosensors. Biosensors potentially provide a powerful means of detecting pathogens with the advantages of high sensitivity, high specificity, real time sensing and suitability for onsite monitoring. We propose the development of a novel, quantifiable diagnostic based on aptamers (target specific receptors) and nanozymes (nanoparticles as artificial enzymes) which could offer a rapid and sensitive pointofcare diagnostic for Campylobacter. The proposed technology offers an ultrafast (1530 min) readout which can be quantified using a relatively lowcost spectrophotometer (e.g. ELISA plate reader). Preliminary work developing a similar platform for norovirus detection shows high sensitivity (<100 virus particles/mL). The cost of the assay is estimated to be cheap (<$0.50 per test) and adaptability of this technology with ELISA platereader technology (96/384 samples formats) will allow multiple sample detection simultaneously. Such a rapid assay could help inform immediate decision making on food safety, identify alternative streams through the supply chain of higher risk product and help validate processes. All these features make this platform highly relevant to the poultry industry.
Program Chicken Meat
Research organisation Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries acting through South Australian Research and Development Institute
Objective summary Internationally, there is much research being undertaken into developing rapid diagnostics based on biosensors. Biosensors potentially provide a powerful means of detecting pathogens with the advantages of high sensitivity, high specificity, real time sensing and onsite monitoring. The main components of a biosensor are the “bioreceptor”, which directly interacts with the target (pathogen, toxin or chemical), and the “transducer”, which transforms the interaction into a physical or chemical response. Recently, the Bansal Group (RMIT) developed a new, fast and sensitive ‘turnoff/turnon’ biosensing approach for detection of model small molecules such as antibiotics and pesticides. This ultrasensitive assay combines the high target recognition ability of aptamers (synthetic bioreceptors) with the inherent peroxidase enzymelike activity (nanozyme activity) of gold nanoparticles. Gold nanoparticles coated with aptamer molecules show no nanozyme activity, however in the presence of the target, the aptamers dissociate from the gold nanoparticle surface to interact with the target. This turnson the nanozyme activity of gold, which provides a rapid (1530 min) visual colorimetric readout which is quantifiable using an ELISA reader. This approach is currently being jointly applied by Bansal and Torok for the detection of norovirus and initial results show high sensitivity (<100 virus particle/mL). The cost of the assay is estimated to be <$0.50 per test and the methodology is conducive to highthroughput testing.
The key objectives of the project are to:
Undertake research to develop a fast and sensitive ‘turnoff/turnon’ biosensor for pointofcare detection and quantification of Campylobacter on poultry carcasses.
Validate the technology in an industry setting.
Project Stage Current
Project start date Saturday, July 30, 2016
Project completion date Sunday, December 31, 2017
Journal articles from project Not Available
National priority Promoting and maintaining good health
Rural priority Advanced Technology
RIRDC goal CME-Deliver safe food and good animal welfare outcomes
Principal researcher Valeria Torok
Research manager Kylie Hewson
Admin contact Adrienne Twisk