The Capital Area Food Protection Association (CAFPA) held its 2016 Fall meeting as a joint conference with DC chapter of the American Society of Microbiology (DC ASM) atthe USDA National Agricultural Library on December 6, 2016. Our mission for organizing this program was to provide an opportunity for the CAFPA community to come together and keep well-informed about the latest scientific and technical issues related to food safety. The themes this year were antimicrobial resistance and whole genome sequencing developments in food safety.
Five guest speakers provided informative sessions to more than 70 attendees from the Washington DC region. Speakers included Errol Strain, Ph.D., Director of the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Staff, FDA CFSAN. The title of his presentation was “FDA/CFSAN SNP Pipeline – High-Resolution Genomic Typing for Foodborne Pathogens” and William Klimke, Ph.D., Pathogen Detection Team Leader, National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). His presentation was “The NCBI Pathogen Detection Pipeline: Providing Freely Available Analysis Reports to Support Public.”Drs. Strain and Klimke both presented Whole Genome Sequence (WGS) data analysis proceduresand data management in regards to foodborne illness investigations; Dr. Strain explained FDA’s SNP pipeline, while Dr. Klimke discussed NCBI’s pathogen detection pipeline. Mike Feldgarden, Ph.D., Staff Scientist, NCBI, presented a talk entitled as “NCBI Antimicrobial Resistance Informatics.” He provided recent activities at NCBI related to DNA based analysis on antimicrobial resistance and its data management. Virginie Dujols, Ph.D., Chemist, Illumina, provided her presentation entitled as “Illumina Whole Genome Sequencing for the Identification of Foodborne Pathogens.”She discussed applications of WGS technology in the field of food safety and latest technology development.
The keynote address was provided byKarl Klose, Ph.D., Processor and Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, Founder of the South Texas Center for Emerging Infection Diseases University of Texas, San Antonio.His presentation title was “Rise of the Superbugs: Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria.” He started out with TED talk on mechanisms of gene sharing and antibiotic resistance in bacteria, which was very witty, powerful, and enlightening, and then he changed thetone of his talk and provided in depth of historical information, and researchdata, and recent issues of antibiotic resistance among bacteria. He displayed several ideas to combat against supper bugs and ended with a tone, to make the audience think about how to improve this issue.
All of these presentations were highly educational and provoked good discussions. The specific set presentations showcased at this meeting greatly contributed to achieving CAFPA’s mission to provide expert speakers, information on the latest scientific developments and new perspectives to our food safety and microbiology professionals and broader technical community. CAFPA’s leadership team appreciates all thespeakers, the DCASM leadership team, and all the attendees for this hugely successful meeting (despiterough weather and travel conditions). Special thanks must be noted to the DC ASM leadership team to coordinate the invitation to Dr. Karl Klose and his key note address. Dr. Klose’s presentation at the meeting was made possible by ASM’s distinguished lecture program, which sponsored his travel. You may access Dr. Klose’s TED talkson ‘Rise of the Superbug – Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria’at (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikZQPB45Zbw) and (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cviY_VPg6zo).