The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has awarded Illumina, Inc., a $17 million, five-year contract to provide the agency with MiSeq sequencing systems and reagents for conducting whole genome analysis on produce and produce-related environmental Salmonella and shigatoxigenic E. coli isolates.
The agency already has a number of MiSeq systems deployed and is building on its existing capacity to provide resources and training to enhance whole genome sequencing capabilities as part of a proof-of-concept initiative. More immediately, the agency is looking to collect data that is crucial to source tracking Salmonella that may be involved in future produce-related outbreaks.
Using MiSeq, the FDA’s national and state laboratories, where numerous and diverse enteric pathogens are detected, isolated and processed, will be able to generate whole genome sequences from historical pathogen collections and from bacteria collected from produce sources across the country.
Sequencing data will be uploaded real-time to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) curated database, thereby enhancing the database’s power for source tracking queries. This data will serve as early proof-of-concept for rapid networking of resources using a whole genome sequencing based approach to pathogen detection, identification and traceback.
“We are extremely pleased MiSeq was selected as the technology platform for this large-scale initiative,” said Christian Henry, SVP and General Manager of Illumina’s Genomic Solutions business. “We are well-positioned to deliver on the program’s requirements, based on MiSeq’s rapid turnaround time, unmatched accuracy, and ease-of-use, as well as our proven track record.”