Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) is being used in research, surveillance and investigative programs more and more frequently by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA and CDC
are coordinating efforts by public health officials to sequence pathogens collected from foodborne illness outbreaks. These sequences are archived in an open-access genomic reference database called GenomeTrackr. This database, when linked to the metadata (e.g., previous foods where the pathogen was isolated, geographic locations where the previous outbreaks originated, time of year when the outbreak occurred, previous sources of contamination, symptoms of ill individuals, etc.) associated with these sequences, can be used to assist public health professionals in linking ongoing outbreaks of illness with historical outbreaks. This means learnings from the historical illness outbreaks can be now be used to guide their investigations into the cause of the current outbreak. Enjoy a recap of this webinar, where FDA answers questions such as:
What is WGS and how it differs from other molecular fingerprinting tools?
How is it being used for regulatory and produce safety research?
What impact does it have on the produce industry – both pros and cons?
Dr. Eric Brown, Dr. Errol Strain and Ms. Karen Jarvis with the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN)