“Identification of Unknown #1”
Discovering and studying new bacteria can lead to new innovations and possible cures for existing or future diseases. The investigation of bacteria can also help incubate ourselves or act quickly in response to an invasive strain.
The commercial food industry has a great need in identifying Salmonella to prevent disease in consumers. As well as being the cause of enteric (typhoid) fever, an important infectious disease, Salmonella is perhaps best known as a cause of bacterial food poisoning. Although typhoid fever has been largely eradicated in the developed world, Salmonella food poisoning has long been, and continues to be, an important global public health problem. In much of Europe and North America, Campylobacter is now the most frequent cause of foodborne human infections, but Salmonella remains a very important and widespread pathogen. It is a major cause of concern for the food industry, where its control is vital for products ranging from cooked meats to chocolate and from fresh produce to peanut butter. Given the long history of foodborne salmonellosis, it is not surprising that the need for microbiological testing of food ingredients and food products is very significant. A substantial number of methods, both traditional and rapid, have been developed over the years for the detection and identification of Salmonella. Salmonella, a small, gram-negative bacillus, are relatively resistant to stomach acids. Feces of patients that have symptoms of food poisoning or typhoid fever are cultured for Salmonella. Often, the preliminary diagnosis is first suggested by recognition of an outbreak (multiple patients having symptoms of a disease all at about the same time and often from the same food or water source). Again, many organisms and toxins can cause food poisoning, so it is sometimes difficult to determine the outbreak's cause. Usually, the laboratory needs to be notified that S. spp. is suspected as the...
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