Skip to main content

Evaluation of Methods To Improve Detection of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Fresh Produce by Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction

Buy Article:

$37.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis was used to detect two genes encoding Shiga-like toxins (stx1 and stx 2) and a universal Escherichia coli gene (gadA/B) in fresh produce spiked with E. coli O157:H7. Current U.S. Food and Drug Administration procedures for the analysis of fresh produce include the use of the rinsate from an initial rinse for the analysis of several potential pathogens, including E. coli O157:H7. In this study, several procedures were evaluated for their ability to increase the sensitivity of PCR analysis of rinsates from 15 types of produce. The procedures evaluated included the preliminary clarification and concentration of templates by centrifugation and the treatment of templates with compounds reported to facilitate nucleic acid amplification, including polyvinlypolypyrrolidone (PVPP), nonfat dry milk (NFDM), and InstaGene. The preliminary concentration of rinsates resulted in moderate improvements in detection sensitivity. The use of PVPP-treated templates in PCR reaction mixtures did not further improve sensitivity, but the inclusion of NFDM-treated templates increased sensitivity by an order of magnitude for 12 rinsates. The incorporation of InstaGene also improved the detection capability of the analysis; this procedure yielded the strongest gel bands for eight rinsates. However, for four other rinsates, the use of this reagent decreased sensitivity; these four rinsates were those for the produce varieties with the largest surface areas and were the most turbid rinsates. The use of facilitating compounds to block PCR inhibition may enable an analysis for Shiga toxin-producing E. coli in fresh produce to be completed in 1 to 2 days, rather than the 5 days required for current methods.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Bothell, Washington 98021-4421, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2003

More about this publication?
  • IAFP Members with personal subscriptions to JFP Online: To access full-text JFP or JMFT articles, you must sign-in in the upper-right corner using your Ingenta sign-in details (your IAFP Member Login does not apply to this website).

    The Journal of Food Protection (JFP) is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

    Print and online subscriptions are available to IAFP Members and institutional subscribers. IAFP Members with a subscription to JFP Online will have access to all available JFP and JMFT content. Online visitors who are not IAFP Members or journal subscribers will be charged on a pay-per-view basis. Membership and subscription information is available at
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • Information for Advertisers
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more