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Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2008 Aug;5(4):487-97. doi: 10.1089/fpd.2008.0117.

Methods and tools for comparative genomics of foodborne pathogens.

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  • 1Produce Quality and Safety Laboratory, Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Beltsville, Maryland 20705-2350, USA.


A comparison of genome sequences and of encoded proteins with the database of existing annotated sequences is a useful approach to understand the information at the genome level. Here we demonstrate the utility of several DNA and protein sequence comparison tools to interpret the information obtained from several genome projects. Comparisons are presented between closely related strains of Escherichia coli commensal isolates, different isolates of O157:H7, and Shigella spp. It is expected that comparative genome analysis will generate a wealth of data to compare pathogenic isolates with varying levels of pathogenicity, which in turn may reveal mechanisms by which the pathogen may adapt to a particular nutrient supply in certain foods. These genome sequence analysis tools will strengthen foodborne pathogen surveillance and subsequent risk assessment to enhance the safety of the food supply.

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