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A Collaborative Study on the Detection of Staphylococcal Enterotoxins in Foods with an Enzyme Immunoassay Kit (TECRA)

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One of the commercially available enzyme immunoassay kits for the detection of staphylococcal enterotoxins (SEs) in foods, the TECRA screening kit (Bioenterprises Pty. Ltd., Roseville, New South Wales, Australia), has microtiter plates coated with a mixture of antibodies to all of the SEs. A collaborative study was conducted to ascertain whether specificity, sensitivity, repeatability, and reproducibility of the results obtained using this kit would meet food-safety criteria. Thirteen Canadian collaborators participated in this study to analyze both various foods to which 1.0 to 3.0 ng of SE/g of food had been added and negative control samples. In addition, the effect of animal serum in these analyses was examined. The results indicate that all collaborators (100%) were able to detect the minimum toxin levels of 1.0 ng of SEA/g of ham and 1.0 ng of SEB/g of salami and SE or SEs in other samples (chicken, turkey, and cheese) containing 2.0 to 3.0 ng/g, without any false-negative results. With regard to negative control samples, all collaborators obtained correct results except when analyzing two types of food: two collaborators (15%) showed weak false-positive results with salami and all analysts found strong false-positive results with mussels. The problem regarding specificity could be largely corrected by treating the sample with rabbit serum (0.1 volume in 1.0 volume food extract). The repeatability and reproducibility of results from the kit were acceptable.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Bureau of Microbial Hazards, Food Directorate, Health Protection Branch, Health Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A OL2 2: Bureau of Biostatistics and Computer Applications, Food Directorate, Health Protection Branch, Health Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A OL2

Publication date: 1996-04-01

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