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Affordable Pathogen Detection Kit Launched in India

An indigenously manufactured food and water-borne pathogen detection kit, which will help determine what causes food poisoning and common food-borne infections, and water-borne infections, was launched in India on Thursday.

It will detect five pathogens — Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria, Vibrio cholerae, Vibrio parahaemolyticus.

Developed by the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) Hyderabad, the technology has been transferred to Bio-Serve Biotechnologies, which is experienced in dealing with molecular reagents.

To be available in the market within the next 6-9 months, the kit will bring down the cost to less than 30 percent as compared to the imported systems being used now.

In India, it is very difficult to estimate the extent of the problem of food-borne diseases and only the information on food poisoning outbreaks is available.

However, studies show that about 13 per cent of deaths among children are due to diarrhoea, which is caused essentially by consumption of contaminated food and water.

The kit for detection of food borne pathogens will be very useful to determine the causes of outbreaks of food poisoning and food borne common infections caused by eating of contaminated eggs, poultry, meat, dairy products as well as vegetables, contaminated with water borne infections," Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said while launching the kit.

The Minister highlighted that this user friendly and rapid detection system will be of immense use not only to the Food Safety Authority of India but also to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, which reports on food poisoning outbreaks and to diagnostic laboratories in Government as well as to private sector.

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