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Evaluation of the Reveal and SafePath Rapid Escherichia coli O157 Detection Tests for Use on Bovine Feces and Carcasses

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The Reveal (Neogen Corp., Lansing, Mich.) and SafePath (SafePath Laboratories LLC, St. Paul, Minn.) tests were evaluated for their performance as beef fecal and beef carcass Escherichia coli O157:H7 monitoring tests. Agreement between these tests and a reference test system was determined using naturally contaminated bovine feces and beef carcasses. The reference system utilized immunomagnetic separation with plating onto cefixime, tellurite, sorbitol MacConkey agar, followed by colony testing using a serum agglutination test for the O157 antigen. Relative to this reference method, the Reveal test showed a sensitivity of 46% and a specificity of 82% on bovine feces and a specificity of 99% on carcass samples. The SafePath test, demonstrated a significantly higher sensitivity at 79% and a similar specificity of 79%. On carcass samples the SafePath test performed similarly to the Reveal test, demonstrating a specificity of 100% relative to the reference system. There was an insufficient number of E. coli O157-positive carcass samples to estimate precisely the sensitivity of these two methods. Both methods show promise as rapid carcass monitoring tests, but further field testing to estimate sensitivity is needed to complete their evaluation. The proportion of positive fecal samples for E. coli O157:H7 by the reference method ranged from 10.2% to 36% in 10 lots of cattle with an overall mean of 17.3% (39/225). Quarter carcass sponging of 125 carcasses revealed 1.6% positive for the pathogen (2/125).

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Laboratory Services Division, University of Guelph, 95 Stone Road, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1H 8J7 2: Guelph Laboratory, Health Canada, 110 Stone Road, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 3W4 3: Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1 4: Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs, 1 Stone Road, Guelph, Ontario, Canada 5: Department of Food Science, Ontario Agriculture College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1 6: Caravelle Foods, 235 Nuggett Court, Brampton, Ontario, Canada L6T 4H4

Publication date: 2000-07-01

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