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According to the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO), Next generation sequencing (NGS) provides rapid, economical and high-throughput access to microbial whole genome sequences (WGS) and is being applied to an expanding number of problems in food microbiology. WGS offers significant advantages over existing technologies (e.g., serology, pulsed field gel electrophoresis, antibiotic resistance phenotyping and sanger sequencing) in the detection of outbreaks and mutations.

Within the food industry, there is interest in WGS to characterize bacterial isolates. For this purpose, there is a need to define a new ISO standard, ISO23418 ‘WGS for typing and genomic characterization of foodborne bacteria’. The document will list general requirements and provide guidance.

GenomeScan has now joined two committees that are working on the ISO23418 draft standard: the Dutch NEN committee 370009 ‘Microbiology of the food chain’ and the international ISO working group WP25. Bart Janssen, Quality Manager at GenomeScan, will represent the company on both committees.

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