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Agency invites tenders for research on source attribution of listeriosis

Posted: 16 August 2013 | Food Standards Agency (FSA) | No comments yet

The Food Standards Agency is inviting tenders for research that will help identify the key sources of listeria…

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The Food Standards Agency is inviting tenders for research that will help identify the key sources of listeria and help with the FSA’s Listeria Risk Management Programme to reduce the risk of listeria to humans.

Background

Reducing the risk of listeriosis to humans is a strategic priority for the FSA. In the UK there are currently about 180 cases of listeriosis reported each year. Listeriosis is most commonly reported in pregnant women, newborns and people with underlying medical conditions, particularly those more than 60 years of age, with food being the main transmission route. However, listeria is distributed widely in the environment and can be found in soil, decaying vegetation and fodder. It is also found in ruminants.

The aim of this project is to examine whether the source of listeriosis in the UK can be attributed, based on genome sequencing.

Our requirements

The proposed work will sequence the genomes of clinical isolates of confirmed Listeria monocytogenes collected in the UK with possible source isolates from a wide range of foodstuffs (meat, fish, dairy, fresh produce etc.), animals, and the environment – including food factories. It is expected that strategies will be developed to compare the diversity of the listeriosis clinical cases with those from foodstuffs and to pinpoint common lineages between the food and clinical strains as a basis for apportioning source attribution of infections. The information will assist the Listeria Risk Management Programme in prioritising resources towards addressing the key source of listeriosis.

This is an open research call that is seeking ideas to address this research area. Collaborative applications are encouraged to promote well-balanced, innovative proposals that offer value for money and make use of the best available research and analytical approaches.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted online using our electronic procurement system by the closing date of 5pm, Monday 21 October 2013. To find out more about this call for tender, you will need to register as a supplier on ePPS via the link below.

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