Collaboration yields E. coli discovery

July 19, 2011

The Column

The Column, The Column-07-15-2011, Volume 7, Issue 13

The collaboration between the UK?s Health Protection Agency (HPA) and Thermo Fisher Scientific has led to a significant development in mapping the proteome of the organism responsible for the recent E. coli outbreak in Europe.

The collaboration between the UK’s Health Protection Agency (HPA) and Thermo Fisher Scientific has led to a significant development in mapping the proteome of the organism responsible for the recent E. coli outbreak in Europe. HPA researchers, using LTQ Orbitrap mass spectrometry technology, have identified the protein toxins expressed by the deadly strain that resulted in 37 deaths and made nearly 3400 people ill.

“The significance of this study is that scientists were able to develop techniques to study microorganisms and determine how the genetic code is being translated into the protein building blocks that determine traits such as toxicity,” said Dr Ian Jardine, vice president, global research and development, Thermo Fisher Scientific. “Our leading Orbitrap mass spectrometry system is providing researchers with the ability to understand what makes this E. coli strain so devastating, and may lead to an improved understanding of how to treat patients.”

Set up in 2003, the agency protects the public from the threats of infectious diseases and environmental hazards. The collaboration with Thermo Fisher studies the use of mass spectrometry to better understand the role of microorganisms in causing illness and disease in humans.

For more information on the technology, visit www.thermofisher.com

This story originally appeared in The Column. Click here to view that issue.

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