June 4, 1997 NORFOLK, Va. -- The use of cauliflower DNA as a surrogate marker is a safe and effective way to study the spread of pathogens in a child care setting and to evaluate ways to intervene, according to a scientist at Eastern Virginia Medical School.
Xi Jiang, Ph.D., assistant professor of pediatrics in the Center for Pediatric Research, a joint program of EVMS and Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters, used the harmless cauliflower DNA to mark objects in a child care home and child care center.
Jiang found that the DNA markers spread rapidly among the children through touching, toys and other objects. The markers also spread to car seats, toys, high chairs and cribs in the children's homes. The study also found that washing hands and wiping "contaminated" surfaces decreased the spread of the DNA.
This marker will have broad application in the study of enteric pathogen transmission.
Jiang presented the research last month at the Pediatric Academic Societies' Annual Meeting, in Washington, DC.
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