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In the last years, novel diagnostic methods have more and more supported or replaced classical detection methods in food safety. Especially DNA sequence based methods are applied. With these methods, a fast detection of e.g. foodborne pathogens or GMO is possible. In addition, a quantification of these agents can be achieved. PCR based methods can be used to further characterize microorganisms in food (detection of virulence factors, antimicrobial resistance markers, stress response).Genotyping enables us to carry out outbreak investigations by comparing bacterial strains from different sources or to characterize bacterial populations in complex habitats.
Still, some aspects have to be solved:
- How to distinguish viable from dead bacterial cells esp. in processed food?
- The role of viable but not culturable bacterial cells;
- Standardization of genotyping methods to enable a comparison of strains from different regions;
- Bioinformatical analysis.