Agro-defense: Biosensors for food from healthy crops and animals

Suresh Neethirajan*, K.V. Ragavan, Xuan Weng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Infectious diseases are a leading cause of death in humans, animals, and plants globally. Pathogen infections can reduce food production and endanger biodiversity. Viruses, bacteria, and fungi are therefore scientifically and economically important in food production. Even outbreaks of a pathogen infection in plants or animals have direct consequences for the food chain and human health. Scope and approach: Microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi and virus invade plant cells and utilize the host resources for their survival disturbing the plant or animal metabolism leading to diseases. Advance diagnosis and effective detection of pathogens, infectious diseases, and other parameters affecting the health of animals and plants in agro-defense will assist in reducing financial costs, increasing food production, and improving the global economy. In this article, common pathogens and infectious diseases in animals and plants, along with the point-of-care technologies that address them, are reviewed. Key findings and conclusions: The synthesis and discovery of novel nanomaterials and the fabrication of highly specific and sensitive biosensors have expanded the scope for effective agro-defense biosensors. Progress in biosensor development and the existing challenges are reviewed to provide future directions in this field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-44
Number of pages20
JournalTrends in Food Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Agro-defense
  • Animal health
  • Biosensor
  • Human food
  • Infectious pathogen
  • Plant health

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