11:20-11:40 a.m., Monday

, PhD
Associate Professor, Food Science Department

Center for Molecular Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Penn State
427 Rodney A. Erickson Food Science Bldg.
University Park, PA 16802 USA

CRISPR typing of Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica

Rapid and accurate strain identification is paramount in the battle against microbial outbreaks and several subtyping approaches have been developed. One such method uses Clustered Regular Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR), DNA repeat elements that are present in approximately half of all bacteria. Though their signature function is as an adaptive immune system against invading DNA such as bacteriophages and plasmids, CRISPR also provide an excellent framework for pathogen tracking and evolutionary studies. Analysis of hundreds of E. coli and Salmonella enterica strains has suggested that CRISPR is not active as an immune system in these species, but does provides sufficient genetic diversity for strain identification and discrimination. This has led to the development of several traditional and real-time PCR, as well as sequence-based methods for subtyping. This talk with cover strengths and success stories of this approach, and suggest ways CRISPR subtyping could complement more traditional subtyping methods.