FDA To Create Public Database for Tracking Foodborne Bacteria
FDA has announced that it will collaborate with UC-Davis, CDC and Santa Clara-based Agilent Technologies to create a public database to catalog the genetic codes of 100,000 types of bacteria that cause foodborne illness, the Wall Street Journal reports (Burton, Wall Street Journal, 7/12).
For the five-year project -- called the 100K Genome Project -- researchers will sequence the genomes of infectious microorganisms at UC-Davis' new BGI@UCDavis genomics lab in Sacramento, Calif. (Kasler, Sacramento Bee, 7/13). They then will post the genetic codes to a public database that will be maintained by NIH's National Center for Biotechnology Information (Wall Street Journal, 7/12).
How the Database Will Work
Scientists will be able to use the no-cost database to more quickly identify what food carries the bacteria responsible for a given outbreak and where the outbreak originated.
The database is expected to reduce from weeks to days the time it takes to respond to outbreaks (Tavernise, New York Times, 7/12).
Steven Musser -- director of FDA's office of regulatory science for food safety -- said the database will work similarly to how the FBI uses a DNA database for crime investigations (Wall Street Journal, 7/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.