Technologies

The Biosafe methods include different biotests, microbiological and biotechnological analyses, bioinformatics and genome sequencing. The cytotoxicity and genotoxicity tests included in the biotests are carried out with cell lines and microorganisms. These can be used to simulate the different levels of poisoning in humans. The cytotoxicity tests investigate toxicity at the cell level. The genotoxicity tests allow determining the impacts on the genetic material of the cell in the DNA or chromosome.

Our strengths compared to traditional analysis methods include:

  • Fast
  • Great price-quality ratio
  • No animal testing
  • Possibility to examine the final product in the conditions of use

Bioinformatics and sequence analysis

Bioinformatics is a tool for organising and analysing genome sequence data to provide biologically meaningful results. Feed additive safety assessment sometimes requires whole genome sequencing (WGS) of microbial genomes. We provide both sequencing and the bioinformatics service to analyse the genome sequences according to EFSA guidelines (e.g. antibiotic resistance genes, toxin production).

Bioinformatics at Biosafe is optimised for microbial genome analysis. We deliver

  • Fast and flexible service according to customer needs
  • Reporting in a clear and understandable way to everyone
  • All analyses and report compliant with EFSA guidelines

Benefits of WGS and bioinformatics compared to traditional methods

  • Fast and comprehensive analysis of microbe properties
  • No animal tests

We also offer comprehensive sequencing services. We sequence microbial genome, plasmids or individual genes based on your particular needs. All sequencing projects are unique and designed in collaboration with our customers to answer to their specific needs. The sequencing platform is also selected on a case by case basis.

Genotoxicity analysis

Genotoxicity analyses enable determining the impacts on the genetic material of the cell in the DNA or chromosomes. The effects may be visible as instant cellular changes or later on in the genome of the next generation. We can examine the genotoxic effects of a sample using bacteria or cell tests (AMES test or comet assay) which allow determining possible mutations and degradation of DNA.

Ames test

Ames test is a microbiological mutagenicity test based on the known Salmonella Typhimurium and Escherichia test strains. If generic modification occurs in the strains on the impact of the studied sample, visible colonies will be formed. The number of the colonies is an indicator of the mutagenicity of the sample. Mutagenic activity is considered a sign of the carcinogenic potency of the substance.

Comet assay

Comet assay is used for measuring DNA damage occurring in human and animal cells. Increase in DNA damage results in DNA migration from the cell during electrophoresis. The positive result is visible via a microscope as a “comet tail” formed by the disintegrated DNA, which indicates that the sample has the potential to cause mutations and possible carcinogenic characteristics.

Micro Ames

The Micro Ames test is a modification of the Ames test performed in growth medium on a microtiter plate suitable for small sample amounts or low concentrations. Mutagenic activity is perceived as a colour change on the test plate.

Metabolomics

Metabolomics, or metabolic profiling, consists of detecting, identifying and quantifying the metabolites synthetized through the metabolism. Many kinds of samples can be used, such as urine, serum, blood etc. One measurement provides information of hundreds or even thousands of metabolites, which gives a very broad view of animal welfare and health. Metabolomics can thus be used to assess the efficacy of a feed additive or, if applied earlier in product development, analyse whether a microbe produces any harmful substances such as toxins.

PCR analyses

We conduct PCR and quantitative PCR analyses, for example for following purposes:

  • The detection of recombinant DNA in feed additive following the EFSA guidelines
  • Assessment of genetic stability
  • Strain identification
  • Genotyping

Cytotoxicity analysis

The cytotoxicity analyses investigate the toxicity of a sample at the cell level. The cells are exposed to the tested sample at concentrations corresponding with normal, expected exposure. Cell lines with different metabolisms are used to determine whether the substance is toxic on its own or if it becomes toxic (or harmless) as a result of the metabolism. Acute cytotoxicity tests measure immediate toxic effect (cell death). In addition, tests are performed on harmful but not necessarily deadly effects on cell metabolism, including inhibition of RNA synthesis and decreased sperm motility.

Highest Tolerated Dose (HTD)

HTD is used to evaluate the effect of a sample on cell morphology and viability. The assay is based on microscopic observations of the morphological (shape, vacuolisation, attachment etc.) changes of the cell.

Total Protein Content (TPC)

The TPC test is used to assess acute cytotoxicity based on the protein content of cells.

EROD assay

It is possible to measure the stress caused by toxins on the cells by monitoring the activity of the induction of the xenobiotic-metabolizing enzyme. When a cell is exposed to a harmful chemical, it aims to render the substance harmless, for which purpose particularly liver cells have a number of enzymes. Activation of these cells thus signals harmful exposure to chemicals.

LDH assay performed with Vero cells,

The LDH assay is used particularly to indicate microbial toxins. In the cell, cytotoxicity is determined as endogenous lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) released from the cells as a result of cell and tissue damage.

Boar spermatozoan motility inhibition test, BSM

The assay is used to define the mitochondrial or membrane damage caused by the sample. Cells are treated with sample chemical and the movement of the cells is evaluated with a microscope.

RNA synthesis inhibition test

The RNA test is used to confirm toxic effects at the cellular level at an early stage. The method is used to measure long-term effects on cell metabolism.

Endocrine disruptor tests

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals which interfere with the body’s hormone systems at certain doses. Endocrine disruptors have been observed to affect the onset of several cancers and sexual development disorders. Analysing endocrine-disrupting chemicals with traditional analytics is difficult as there can be several hormone analogues, some of which might be unknown. The endocrine disruptor test can be used to measure the capacity of an unknown sample to bind itself to an oestrogen or androgen receptor. The binding is observed using luminescence.

Microbiological analysis

Antimicrobial properties (Bacteria, yeasts and moulds)

Antimicrobial tests are used to evaluate the sample’s possible effects on the growth of the microbes.

Antibiotic sensitivity test

Antibiotic sensitivity test is used to examine the sensitivity of microbes to antibiotic with significance to medicine or veterinary science.

Hemolysis assay

Hemolysis assay is used to evaluate the ability of the sample to cause break down of red blood cells. The test is used as an initial evaluation of the toxicity of the microbes.

Identifying microbial populations

Microbial populations are identified with morphological, biochemical and molecular biological (pulsed field gel electrophoresis) methods.

Tailored microbiological commissioned research

We perform tests, e.g. to determine the total microbes in different specimen, identify microbes, analyse harmful and spoilage microbes as well as determine the efficiency of antibiotics, disinfectants and biocides according to the needs of our clients. We will use our partner networks whenever needed to find solutions to the microbiological research needs of our clients.