Title

How Do We Find the Source of Foodborne Superbug Outbreaks?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2021

Editor

Michel Goldman

Journal

Frontiers for Young Minds

Chapter

Specialty Section: Understanding Health

Language

en.

Keywords

Superbug, Outbreak Tracing, DNA Sequence, Bases, Genome

Abstract

Lately, there have been more foodborne “superbug” outbreaks than ever before, which creates a problem because superbugs are antibiotic-resistant bacteria that are difficult to treat. To reduce such outbreaks, better ways of finding the source of the infection are needed. Superbugs, such as Salmonella are often transmitted through food. The world’s food supply system has become so complex that it is often difficult to find the source of an outbreak with older testing methods. A new method called whole genome sequencing (WGS) has now been developed to track superbug infections. Using WGS, it is now possible to identify the source of an outbreak in one country that may be transmitted through food imported from the opposite side of the world. Good outbreak tracing methods help scientists make better predictions about outbreaks. Finding the source of an outbreak early on can lead to better containment and lower costs.

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