PulseNet

APHL Support of PulseNet

Public health laboratories are key testing centers for PulseNet, a national molecular subtyping network designed to rapidly detect foodborne outbreaks.

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PulseNet allows scientists to compare DNA fingerprinting profiles to detect and define clusters of foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella, Listeria and E. coli O157. PulseNet can help disease detectives find sources of outbreaks by comparing DNA fingerprints from ill persons and potential contaminated food products. By improving the efficiency of outbreak detection, PulseNet facilitates early detection, prevention and control of foodborne diseases.

APHL: Supporting PulseNet in the US and Globally

APHL founded the PulseNet Network with CDC in 1996. Nearly 20 years later, it continues to work with federal, state and international partners to create an integrated network for response to foodborne disease in the US and globally. In 2013, APHL worked with representatives from CDC, PulseNet, OutbreakNet and NEHA to organize the Integrated Foodborne Outbreak Response and Management (InFORM) Meeting in San Antonio, TX. The association also supports development of the Network's global arm, PulseNet International.

Whole Genome Sequencing: The Next Generation Technology

Although PulseNet historically has used Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) to identify pathogens, it is shifting to next generation technologies, notably whole genome sequencing (WGS). APHL and its federal partners have coordinated a series of webinars on WGS and its application to the surveillance of foodborne pathogens through PulseNet. To participate in these webinars, email Kristy Kubota at kristy.kubota@aphl.org. APHL also supports the involvement of PulseNet laboratories in CDC’s Listeria WGS Initiative and FDA’s Genome Trakr.