Oxoid has launched the DuPont Qualicon RiboPrinter microbial characterisation system for the European and Australian food processing markets - a system which is claimed to provide an automated genetic fingerprint of any bacterium in less than 8 hours.
RiboPrint patterns characterise spoilage organisms, pathogens, beneficial organisms or any important bacterium. Oxoid also claims that no specialist operator skills are required.
The system's restriction enzyme flexibility is said to allow operators to ribotype bacteria using either the pre-packaged restriction enzymes or any other choice, while retaining the advantages of full automation.
Oxoid says that its ever-expanding identification database now includes over 5700 patterns, covering more than 180 genera and 1200 species. This coverage is especially useful for the detection of organisms in the pharmaceutical, food safety and public health industries, and includes lactic acid bacteria.
The RiboPrinter system Data sharing system allows authorised users to electronically share databases of bacterial strains allowing labs to quickly compare, analyse and automatically store genetic "fingerprint" information.
Features of the networking system offer a wide range of data-pooling possibilities, including the chance for regulatory agencies to collect and analyse data from numerous food processing facilities to monitor the spread of bacteria.
Additionally, information sharing is said to be secure because only data with unique host-assigned tags can be copied. Oxoid also says that transfers are automated and can be scheduled to run out-of-hours.