Researchers at Tuskegee University’s College of Veterinary Medicine have been awarded a patent for a faster and more efficient way to detect live bacteria that could contaminate the nation’s food supply.
U.S. Patent No. 9434976 was issued for the rapid and more reliable detection of viable foodborne, biothreat pathogens and other infectious microbes using modified Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) sample preparation.
In 2014 the same researcher group from Tuskegee University attained a patent for a time-saving method of determining multiple foodborne and biothreat pathogens in food items such as meat, milk and vegetables.
“As with our previous patent, we are again advancing research in microbe detection,” said Dr. Teshome Yehualaeshet, principal investigator for the project. “This time what is so unique about the discovery is not only do we save time but we also improve the accuracy of a technique by enabling the detection of viable or living organisms.”
The discoveries of the Tuskegee team are an example of the groundbreaking research being carried out at Alabama’s universities. An estimated $2.4 billion in federal research and development funds are spent each year in Alabama.
Drs. Temesgen Samuel, Woubit S. Abdela, and Tsegaye Habtemariam served as co-investigators on the Tuskegee research project. Along with Yehualaeshet, they are faculty members in the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Department of Pathobiology.