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Perlegen Awarded NIH Biodefense Grant for Comparative Salmonella Sequencing

NEW YORK, Sept. 16 (GenomeWeb News) - Perlegen Sciences said today that it has received a biodefense award from the US National Institutes of Health to use its microarray technology to sequence the genomes of several strains of Salmonella. 

The company said it would compare the strains to discover "signature SNPs" that could be used to identify the source of Salmonella in an outbreak.

The amount of the NIH award was not immediately available.

Over 2,000 strains of Salmonella are capable of causing disease in humans, Perlegen said, but did not disclose how many strains it plans to sequence.

Perlegen noted that Salmonella, which is responsible for about 1.5 million cases of food poisoning in the United States each year, has already been used in a major bioterror attack in the US: In 1984, over 750 residents of Wasco County, Oregon, were afflicted with Salmonella-induced food poisoning and 45 people were hospitalized when a group tried to interfere with local elections by disabling potential voters.

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