Identification of Putative Biomarkers Specific to Foodborne Pathogens Using Metabolomics
Metabolomics is one of the more recently developed “omics” that measures low molecular weight (typically < 1500 Da) compounds in biological samples. Metabolomics has been widely explored in environmental, clinical, and industrial biotechnology applications. However, its application to the area of food safety has been limited but preliminary work has demonstrated its value. This chapter describes an untargeted (nontargeted) metabolomics workflow using gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS) for characterizing three globally important foodborne pathogens, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella enterica, from selective enrichment liquid culture media. The workflow involves a detailed description of food spiking experiments followed by procedures for extraction of polar metabolites from media, analyzing the extracts using GC-MS and, finally, chemometric data analysis using the software “SIMCA” to identify potential pathogen-specific biomarkers.
Key wordsMetabolomic profiling Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) Principal component analysis (PCA) Partial Least Square-Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA) Volcano plots SIMCA MetaboAnalyst Foodborne pathogens Food safety
The authors would like to thank the Australian Meat Processor Corporation (AMPC) for funding this research under the Research, Development, and Extension program 2014–2015.
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