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Joergen Schlundt, Nanyang Technological University Food Technology Centre (NAFTEC), Singapore
Moon Tay Yue Feng, Nanyang Technological University Food Technology Centre (NAFTEC), Singapore
Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) provides much greater (and faster) strain discrimination than traditional methods, including older genomic methods such as PFGE. At the same time NGS provides an all-in-one test (Whole Genome Sequencing, WGS) which can provide serotype, antimicrobial resistance or virulence profiling, and other molecular or traditional subtyping methods; and notably the same methodology works for all types of pathogens (virus, bacteria, fungi, parasites).
Since 2011 a significant number of foodborne disease outbreaks have been detected and controlled using WGS, one of the largest being the Listeria outbreak in South Africa in 2017-18.
Several national public health and food safety regulators are now using WGS for real-time surveillance of foodborne pathogens. At the same time new developments open up for more efficient sharing of data between the health and food sectors (One Health) as well as between countries (Open-source, international WGS databases).
This collection in One Health Outlook aims at describing the potential for One Health Surveillance of foodborne pathogens and disease utilizing the revolutionary NGS methodologies.