IEH is internationally recognized for our expertise in molecular epidemiology.
Molecular epidemiology is a field in microbial genomics that involves high resolution comparison of microbial genomes to determine their relatedness. In foodborne outbreak investigations the aim is to compare the food isolates to that of the patients. Investigations of potential harborage in food production facilities involves the use of molecular epidemiology to determine if some of the environmental isolates are genetically identical.
Molecular Epidemiology Applications:
Tracking sources of product contamination
Identifying harborages of pathogens in the production environment
Tracking microbial contamination to suppliers
Linking a product to a foodborne outbreak
Eliminating a potential contamination source by showing that isolates from different products, environments or patients are unrelated
Molecular Epidemiology Methods:
Whole Genome Sequencing
Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE)
Micro-Restriction Fingerprinting (MRF)
Multiple-Locus Variable-Number Tandem Repeat Analysis (MLVA)