The Use of Farm-to-Fork Surveillance and New Genome Sequencing Techniques to Prevent and Control Foodborne Disease Globally

The National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark


In the future, it is likely that all clinical microbiological laboratories will have access to DNA sequencing on a daily basis. The technology will become significantly cheaper and quicker than present bacterial identification systems. Given that human infectious diseases have an increasingly global epidemiology (e.g., severe acute respiratory syndrome [SARS], H5N1 avian influenza, influenza, Salmonella, and antimicrobial resistance), rapid identification of microorganisms and timely response are crucial for preventing global spread. It is suggested that new technologies (e.g., DNA sequencing), combined with new methodologies for risk assessment and attribution of human infectious disease to the source (animals and/or food), should be used for sciencebased reduction of the foodborne disease burden at the global level. Systems to enable real-time detection and prevention of infectious diseases should be based not only on the best available collaborative science, but also must have a clear and transparent governance structure with global reach.