May 17, 2007 Researchers from Denmark have developed a 12-hour test for detecting Salmonella in meat. They report their findings in the May 2007 issue the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
Salmonella is one of the main causes of food-borne illnesses worldwide. Detection methods have proved costly and laborious often requiring up to 5 days to get results. In recent studies real-time PCR technology has shown to offer several advantages in regard to speed, detection limit and cost.
In the study researchers developed a 12-hour DNA-based method for detecting Salmonella bacteria using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and tested it in minced meat samples following 8 hours of preenrichment. Results were then compared to a reference culture method which previously tested 100 minced meat and poultry samples following 24 hours of preenrichment and showed relative accuracy and sensitivity of 99% and specificity of 100%.
"It was successfully demonstrated that the optimized 12-hour PCR method for Salmonella detection produced results comparable to those of the reference culture method with artificially inoculated pork meat and poultry samples," say the researchers. "The main advantage of the method developed is the reduced time of analysis, enabling faster release of Salmonella-free fresh meat."
(M.H. Josefsen, M. Krause, F. Hansen, J. Hoorfar. 2007. Optimization of a 12-hour TaqMan PCR-based method for detection of salmonella bacteria in meat. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 73. 9: 3040-3048).
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