Pathogen Detection & AgriFood
On-Site DNA Surveillance
On-site plant and wildlife monitoring provide actionable data enabling faster decision making. Detection of plant pathogens is an essential tool in reducing large agricultural production losses caused by plant diseases every year. Infectious animal diseases caused by pathogenic microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses threaten the health and well-being of wildlife, livestock, and human populations, limit productivity and increase significantly economic losses to each sector. Pathogen detection is an important step for the diagnostics, successful treatment of animal infectious diseases, and control management in farms and field conditions.
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Food losses due to crop infections from pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi are persistent issues in agriculture. In order to minimize the disease-induced damage in crops during growth, harvest, and postharvest processing, as well as to maximize productivity and ensure agricultural sustainability, advanced disease detection and prevention in crops are imperative. Our TripleLock™ platform can be adapted to agricultural applications.
Plant & Animal Breeding
Big Data Genomics & Analysis
From farm-to-fork, there are several points at which fresh produce can become contaminated. Project BISTRO aims to develop a rapid point-of-need solution to detect foodborne pathogens in leafy greens using an adaption of our TripleLock™ technology. With the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) through the Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) program, the portable device will provide food producers, farming and agriculture operations, distribution centres and large-scale grocers peace of mind, knowing that they have provided their customers with safe food and produce.
Target foodborne pathogenic bacteria:
Beer Spoilage Microbes
Precision bio monitoring
Laboratory eDNA analysis
qPCR and/or Metabarcoding
In-house assay development
Standardize methods for assay validation
Third Party ISO 170252
On-site eDNA extraction to prevent eDNA degrading
Transect and depth sampling capability
Sophisticated sampling methods to minimize contamination risks
Patent Pending survey design software
The legalization of cannabis for medical or recreational use in Canada and other countries has led to huge growth in this industry. Surveillance and early detection of plant pathogens are critical for rapid response to any biological threat. In addition, assuring consumers safe products is a priority for growers.
The presence of bacteria and fungi in cannabis poses a potential threat to both plant health and consumers’ health. The current industry standard for detecting harmful bacteria and fungi on cannabis plants is microbial culture‑based testing. Culture-based assays demand intact and living organisms for the test to run properly and cannot be used to survey for several of the plant pathogens such as Aspergillus, fusarium, and many other pathogenic bacteria. This results in inaccuracy or failure to detect these pathogens through culture-based testing. This process uses inefficient methods which require samples to be sent to a lab for identification. It may take several days to obtain the test results, thus delaying the release of products or a delayed response to a threat. Not only is this a time-consuming process, but it also requires increased costs associated with surveillance.
Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness that affects people all over the world. Current conventional surveillance methods involve passive and active detection, both of which require multiple steps. This process uses inefficient methods which require samples to be sent to the lab for identification. Not only is this a time-consuming process, but it also requires additional human resources which increases the costs associated with surveillance.
With eDNA, the entire process of shipping samples to various labs is eliminated. This not only saves time but also cuts costs. Using our TripleLockTM platform, the timeline for the process is reduced to just 80 minutes. This means that surveillance maps can be updated in real-time which allows for the public to be better informed about which areas to avoid. Moreover, the assays developed for the molecular tests are thoroughly validated to ensure high specificity and sensitivity for accurate detection.”
West Nile Virus Surveillance
West Nile Virus is a vector-borne disease that is of public health importance in various areas of the world. Effective prevention of human WNV infections depends on the development of comprehensive mosquito surveillance and control programs (World Health Organization, 2017). Current methods used for WNV surveillance are labour intensive as it requires shipping samples to labs for taxonomic identification. This also makes the process more time-consuming and costly. Using environmental DNA (eDNA) and our TripleLockTM platform allows for the entire surveillance protocol to be improved. The process would only involve sample collection, preparation, and on-site analysis. Results would also be available within 80 minutes. The key benefit of the fast turn-around time being that surveillance maps can be updated in real-time. The infographic below depicts the benefits of eDNA biomonitoring compared to the conventional method for WNV surveillance.
African Swine Fever Virus
Introducing the world’s only rapid, onsite test to detect the presence of African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV). Our rapid, onsite diagnostic test provides reliable results enables a more immediate response to curtailing the further spread of the virus. This will contribute to reducing the losses associated with the disease. Further, a rapid, in-situ test that can be performed and verified in about an hour would enable more effective and pervasive surveillance to prevent infection of domestic swine.
The test procedure will detect the presence of the virus in any infected animal or carrier of the virus. Unlike laboratory services that require samples to be shipped where they may be prepared for DNA extraction and detection, then our solution is mobile and can be employed at any time, anywhere by anyone.