With the recent outbreaks associated with romaine lettuce (E. coli) and eggs (Salmonella) in the headlines, LexaGene Holdings Inc., a biotechnology company that develops instrumentation for pathogen detection, announced that its prototype for pathogen detection is now generating data, including the ability to identify E.coli and Staph. The technology was designed for food safety officers and healthcare providers to use at their facilities for pathogen detection and will be able to process six samples at a time – searching for over 22 pathogens – and return results in about one hour.
“Generating data with the prototype is a monumental milestone for the company, especially given that we are at such a critical moment in society right now with new foodborne illnesses happening so frequently,” said LexaGene CEO Jack Regan. Over the next several months, the company will continue to optimize the performance of the instrument and equip it with reagents to detect more pathogens such as Salmonella and Listeria, he said. “Once we finalize our pathogen-detection panel, we’ll begin processing samples to demonstrate our advantages.”
Not only does LexaGene aim to provide technology to reduce the chances of shipping contaminated food items, it anticipates applying this same technology to help doctors diagnose sick patients.
“We need an easier and less expensive solution to find deadly bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella, whether it is in the food plant or a sick person,” Regan said. “LexaGene’s technology will soon be the world’s first easy-to-use, open-access, on-site rapid pathogen detection system that has the potential to change how we prevent and diagnose disease.”