The real world impact of our proposed project will be to deliver targeted tests for pathogenic vibrios that impact food safety and human health. The most sensitive tests are complicated and not accessible to commercial laboratories, especially in regional centres. Consequently these labs are using low-sensitivity tests that are easy to use but which cannot detect low levels of pathogenic vibrios in water and shellfish. In the recent outbreak in South Australia, tests were negative but people were still getting sick after eating oysters. The recall and closure of entire oyster bays in the absence of precise location identification, cost the industry millions of dollars. Our innovative approach will be to identify virulence genes in clinical samples that will become the target of our tests. We will optimise testing and road-test mobile PCR machines that could revolutionise testing in regional centres. The figure below captures our intention in three steps, with the fourth outcome to work with industry and regulators to use our outputs to inform shellfish quality regulations. It is important that the northern Tropical Rock Oyster industry is included in all considerations around test development and deployment.
|Effective start/end date
|11/08/22 → 31/05/23
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