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Development and Use of Polymerase Chain Reaction for the Specific Detection of Salmonella Typhimurium in Stool and Food Samples

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Salmonella Typhimurium is one of the most important Salmonella serovars that may cause foodborne disease and human salmonellosis infection. Detection of this organism in the clinical samples of persons with gastroenteritis and the food samples associated with such persons may allow us to trace the cause of disease. Because malic acid dehydrogenase, an enzyme of the citric acid cycle, is common to organisms, the gene (mdh) coding for this enzyme was selected for the design of Salmonella Typhimurium-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers. By comparison of the mdh gene sequences of Salmonella Typhimurium and other Salmonella serotypes and of some isolates of other genera, two oligonucleotides were designed and used as PCR primers for the specific detection of Salmonella Typhimurium. The molecular weight of the PCR product was 261 bp as expected. Salmonella serovars other than Salmonella Typhimurium and isolates of other genera in the Enterobacteriaceae that is closely related to Salmonella did not generate any false-positive results. When this primer pair was used for the detection of Salmonella Typhimurium cells artificially inoculated into human stool specimens and food samples, such as milk and raw chicken meat, levels as low as 100 CFU per 0.1 g of stool specimen or per ml of milk or food homogenate could be detected if an 8- to 12-h preculture step using combined lactose-tetrathionate broth was performed prior to the PCR.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Food Science, National Chung-Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan, R. O. C.

Publication date: October 1, 1999

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