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Biological Threats and Countermeasures

Novel Methods for Detection of Clostridium botulinum and Botulinum Neurotoxin in Complex Food Matrices

Principal Investigator: 
Eric Johnson
Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is the most potent biological agent known. It poses a major bioweapon and bioterrorism threat, especially in the food chain, such as in milk, juice (e.g., carrot and orange juice), various low acid foods, and water. Although much effort has been spent on...

Validation and optimization of biologically modified electrically-active magnetic nanoparticles (nano-BEAMs) for direct capture and concentration of bioterrorism agents in various food matrices

Principal Investigator: 
Evangelyn Alocilja
The existing project focuses on the synthesis and novel application of biologically modified electrically-active magnetic nanoparticles (nano-BEAMs) for sample acquisition and pre-analytical processing to render representative samples of food products ready for rapid agent detection in multiple...

Extraction of Ricin and PCB's Using Functionalized Electrospun Fibers

Principal Investigator: 
Keith Warriner
Ricin can be obtained from castor beans and PCB's are readily available from a number of industrial waste sources such as spent transformer oil. Ricin poisoning causes acute conditions and is considered by many as the most significant bioterror agent. In contrast, relatively little attention...

NCFPD Center of Excellence Food Protection Education Portal - Phase I

Principal Investigator: 
Craig Hedberg
There is a large and growing volume of food protection education and training material available to meet the increasing demand from government, industry, and public audiences. NCFPD can advance food protection education nation-wide by integrating resources from three projects, Food Protection...

Simultaneous detection of multiple food safety threat agents using multiplex PCR and PCR-based microarray approaches

Principal Investigator: 
Woubit Salah Abdela
Food-borne pathogens cause millions of clinical illnesses every year and cost billions of dollars to manage and control. Several recent examples including Salmonella enterica serovar Saintpaul in produce, Escherichia coli O157:H7 in ground beef, Listeria monocytogenes in ready to eat meat have led...

Proof-of-concept study for the development of a cell-free GPCR-based biosensor for rapid non-specific detection of chemical and biological toxic agents

Principal Investigator: 
Evangelyn Alocilja
This project is a high-risk/high-reward exploratory proof-of-concept work to evaluate the potential of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) as sensing elements in biosensor devices for rapid non-specific but highly sensitive detection (detect-to-warn) of toxicants in selected complex food matrices...

Development of Nontoxigenic Clostridium botulinum Toxins and Strains for Food Defense Studies (Surrogates)

Principal Investigator: 
Eric Johnson
Clostridium botulinum produces the most poisonous toxin known and is a potential major biodefense threat in various food systems. To ensure defense measures against intentional foodborne and inhalational botulism, it will be extremely valuable to have non-toxic surrogates of botulinum neurotoxin...

Application of Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy for Detection of Chemical and Biological Terror Agents in Food Matrices

Principal Investigator: 
Theodore Labuza
Rapid, sensitive, and accurate detection of chemical and biological terror agents is of critical importance to monitor and prevent bioterrorism events. Conventional chromatographic techniques for chemical detection and culture techniques for bio-agent detection face serious limitations, especially...

Modeling Sampling Strategies for Detecting Intentional Contamination of Imported Food Systems

Principal Investigator: 
Randall Singer
Significant quantities of fresh and frozen food are imported into the U.S. each year. In particular, fruits, vegetables and seafood are imported from countries around the world, and once these products arrive into the U.S., they are broadly distributed and either consumed directly or used as...

Assessment of Industry Use of Best Practices for Food Security

Principal Investigator: 
Fred Shank
The goal of this project was to compile, analyze, and assess current guidance and recommendations pertaining to best food defense practices with regard to intentional attack on the food supply, and generate an educational tool to help individuals in the food industry, particularly small and medium-...

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