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Science AMA Series: Whole Genome Sequencing is the future of foodborne outbreak detection – What does that mean for public health? Ask us anything!
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  • r/Science AMAs

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For decades, pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) has been the prevailing technology used for foodborne outbreak detection. PFGE identifies the pathogen’s DNA fingerprint which is then uploaded to PulseNet, a 20 year old national laboratory network used to detect clusters of foodborne illness. While PFGE and PulseNet revolutionized foodborne outbreak detection, whole genome sequencing (WGS) is the future. How will WGS improve foodborne outbreak investigations? What can WGS tell us that PFGE cannot? Join the following experts for a discussion about how public health and agricultural laboratories work to detect foodborne outbreaks and how WGS will change that work. The panelists are all members of the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) food safety committee. Bryanne Shaw Biology Section Manager Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Laboratory Services Division Proof Stephen Gladbach Unit Chief, Microbiology Unit Missouri State Public Health Laboratory Proof Tracy Stiles Director, Microbiology Division William A. Hinton State Laboratory Institute (Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory) Proof Dave Boxrud Molecular Epidemiology Supervisor Minnesota Department of Health Public Health Laboratory Proof Edit: Ok, we’re out! Thanks for having us! We will continue to check in and answer as many other questions as we can.