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Comparative Evaluation of Culture- and BAX Polymerase Chain Reaction-Based Detection Methods for Listeria spp. and Listeria monocytogenes in Environmental and Raw Fish Samples

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Two commercial polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based Listeria detection systems, the BAX for Screening/Listeria monocytogenes and the BAX for Screening/Genus Listeria, and a culture-based detection system, the Biosynth L. monocytogenes Detection System (LMDS), were evaluated for their ability to detect L. monocytogenes and Listeria spp. in raw ingredients and the processing environment. For detection of L. monocytogenes from raw fish, enrichment was performed in Listeria enrichment broth (LEB), followed by plating on both Oxford agar and LMDS L. monocytogenes plating medium (LMPM). Detection of Listeria and L. monocytogenes from environmental samples was performed using LMDS enrichment medium, followed by plating on both Oxford agar and LMPM. A total of 512 environmental samples and 315 raw fish were taken from two smoked fish processing facilities and screened using these molecular and cultural Listeria detection methods. The BAX for Screening/L. monocytogenes was used to screen raw fish and was 84.8% sensitive and 100% specific. The BAX for Screening/Genus Listeria was evaluated on environmental samples and had 94.7% sensitivity and 97.4% specificity. In conjunction with enrichment in LEB, LMPM had a sensitivity and specificity for detection of L. monocytogenes from raw fish of 97.8 and 100%, respectively. Use of LMDS enrichment medium followed by plating on LMPM allowed for sensitivity and specificity rates of 94.8 and 100%, respectively, for detection of L. monocytogenes from environmental samples. We conclude that both the BAX systems and the use of LMPM allow for reliable and rapid detection of Listeria spp. and L. monocytogenes. While the BAX systems provide screening results in about 3 days, the use of LMPM allows for L. monocytogenes isolation in 4 to 5 days.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Food Science, 412 Stocking Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2001

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