Life Technologies began designing the test after company researchers, using samples supplied by scientists at University Hospital Munster, completed the DNA sequencing and analysis work on the deadly E coli strain using the Ion Personal Genome Machine (PGM)

The company said results from its work, and independently supported by a second team of researchers in China also using the PGM, showed that the E coli bacterium is a hybrid strain that is resistant to antibiotics.

Life Technologies Food Safety head Nir Nimrodi said a qPRC- based assay test is the method to detect harmful foodborne pathogens because a positive result indicates the presence of that particular strain’s DNA in the food sample that is being tested.

"While traditional laboratory testing methods can take up to 10 days for results, this test can determine the presence or absence of the European pathogen in 10 to 24 hours, depending on the sample type and size,"Nimrodi said.