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Evaluation of a Chromogenic Medium for Identification and Differentiation of Listeria monocytogenes in Selected Foods

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Listeria monocytogenes continues to be a threat to food safety in the United States despite a “zero tolerance” policy. When Listeria species are identified by standard cultural methods, confirmation of L. monocytogenes takes days to complete. RAPID'L.Mono™ agar, developed by Bio-Rad Laboratories, is a chromogenic medium that differentiates L. monocytogenes from other species of Listeria by a simple color change reaction. Differentiation is based on the specific detection of phosphatidylinositol phospholipase C activity, resulting in a blue colony, and the inability of L. monocytogenes to metabolize xylose, resulting in the absence of a yellow halo. Detection principles of standard method agars, Oxford and PALCAM, are based on the ability of all species of Listeria to hydrolyze esculin. Thus, all species of Listeria have similar colony morphology on these agars, making differentiation of pathogenic L. monocytogenes from other nonhuman pathogens difficult. RAPID'L.Mono agar has been validated with surimi, mixed salad, brie, and processed deli turkey because of the prevalence of L. monocytogenes in these foods. Sensitivity and specificity for this medium was determined to be 99.4 and 100%, respectively. Overall method agreement of RAPID'L.Mono with standard culture methods (U.S. Department of Agriculture/Food Safety and Inspection Service; U.S. Food and Drug Administration/Bacteriological Analytical Manual; and AOAC INTERNATIONAL) was excellent, with enrichment protocols 24 h shorter than those of standard methods.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Bio-Rad Laboratories, 2000 Alfred Nobel Dr, Hercules, CA 94547.

Publication date: 2005-03-01

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.
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