A multinational food manufacturer produced certain health food that carried a tetracycline resistant gene.
Tetracyclines are important antimicrobials used to combat infections. Genetic acquisition of these genes by pathogenic bacteria has led to the emergence of tetracycline resistance in human pathogens. Although there was no evidence of gene transfer from the health food to human pathogens, the client engaged EpiX to assess the potential risk to public health, should a mechanism allow for this transfer.
EpiX performed a novel quantitative risk assessment that made use of the data already collected by the client and augmented it with different sources of biological evidence, together with reported statistics of infection and resistance in different countries.
This assessment was strategically very important for the client as it was created preemptively to avoid potential halts in production, shall the regulatory agencies raise this issue.