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MGI Puts Focus on the Role of High-Throughput Sequencing in Improving Water Quality and Food Safety on World Food Day

Release date:2023-10-16Writer:MGIViews:1514Share

BRISBANE, Australia, 16 October 2023 – MGI, a company committed to building core tools and technology to lead life science, today announced support for an industry-driven graduate research project focused on developing sequencing-based surveillance monitoring of antimicrobial resistance in the water environment on the annual World Food Day.

Echoing this year's World Food Day theme highlighting the essential role of water for the foundation of our food, the project is part of a collaboration between the University of Queensland, the University of Adelaide and MGI to develop innovative ways to reduce the adverse impacts of antimicrobial resistance in engineered or natural aquatic environments, potentially contributing to improved water quality and food safety.

Expected to begin in January 2024 and now open for applications (click here to apply for the project) , the project aims to conduct wastewater surveillance to track the profiles of antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) and antibiotic resistance genes (ARG) in the water environment, while helping to inform indicators for mitigating the dissemination of antibiotic resistance in the environment. An omics-based framework will also be developed to evaluate ARG risk.

"Water plays a vital role in food safety and ultimately health protection," said Duncan Yu, President of MGI. "Over the years, through genomic surveillance powered by our innovative ATOPlex and DNBSEQä technologies, MGI has supported numerous water monitoring and surveillance initiatives worldwide to safeguard water quality, food safety and human health."

ATOPlex, based on MGI's proprietary ultra-high multiplex PCR-based enrichment technique, offers customisable library preparation platform with technologies such as auto-workflow, trace-samples, one-tube and pure-PCR, demonstrating excellent performance for targeted sequencing. It covers DNA, RNA and DNA methylation and can be used in a range of applications, including medicine, clinical research, public health, food safety and direct-to-customer genetic testing.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, MGI's DNBSEQ platforms and ATOPlex technology played a crucial role in enabling scientists from the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) to detect fragments of the Omicron variant in wastewater samples collected across Cape Town and manage the outbreaks effectively to ensure the public safety. This marked the very first occurrence of the variant being detected in the city's wastewater management system and prompted a timely public health response.

Across the world in Australian researchers from the University of Queensland also utilized MGI technology to successfully detect and uncover the epidemiology of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in urban wastewater in 2021. In 2022, researchers from CSIRO Land and Water, the Department of Environment and Science of Queensland, in collaboration with MGI, detected the country's first Omicron variant case in aircraft wastewater samples from an international flight, providing crucial public health information for the authorities.

In recent years, MGI has diversified its product portfolio to incorporate environmental DNA (eDNA) sequencing products. While water pollution represents a serious environmental and health threat, eDNA analysis is used to proactively monitor microbial water quality and identify the genetic material of various pathogens present in the water sources, preventing potential disease outbreaks. This also provides guidance for farmers and commercial fisheries in making informed decision regarding location selection and fishing practices, improving sustainable aquaculture and contributing to food and nutrition security.

"We are excited to empower more novel omics-based approaches to antimicrobial resistance monitoring and water surveillance with our world-class sequencing platforms," said Duncan Yu. "With the vast application of high-throughput technology and lowering cost, land and water management could be fundamentally changed to improve water quality and food safety and help prevent foodborne illnesses resulting from consuming food contaminated from poor-quality water."

About MGI

MGI Tech Co. Ltd. (or its subsidiaries, together referred to MGI), headquartered in Shenzhen, is committed to building core tools and technology to lead life science through intelligent innovation. Based on its proprietary technology, MGI focuses on research & development, production and sales of sequencing instruments, reagents, and related products to support life science research, agriculture, precision medicine and healthcare. MGI is a leading producer of clinical high-throughput gene sequencers**, and its multi-omics platforms include genetic sequencing**, medical imaging, and laboratory automation. MGI's mission is to develop and promote advanced life science tools for future healthcare. For more information, please visit the MGI website or connect with us on TwitterLinkedIn or YouTube.

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