Evaluation and Interlaboratory Validation of a Selective Agar for Phosphatidylinositol-Specific Phospholipase C Activity Using a Chromogenic Substrate To Detect Listeria monocytogenes from Foods

Authors: Jinneman, Karen C.1; Hunt, Jan M.2; Eklund, Cheryl A.2; Wernberg, Jane S.3; Sado, Patricia N.2; Johnson, Janelle M.1

Source: Journal of Food Protection®, Number 3, March 2003, pp. 355-521 , pp. 441-445(5)

Publisher: International Association for Food Protection

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Phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C (PI-PLC) activity is a potential virulence factor and is exhibited only by the Listeria species Listeria monocytogenes and Listeria ivanovii. A chromogenic substrate for the direct detection of PI-PLC activity is available in a new medium (BCM L. monocytogenes plating agar). The use of a chromogenic substrate offers a mechanism with which to directly screen for L. monocytogenes and L. ivanovii other than the esculin used in Oxford (OXF) and Palcam (PAL) agars, which screen for all Listeria species. The specificity levels of BCM plating agar and of BCM confirmation and rhamnose agars were evaluated with 107 Listeria and 10 Bacillus species isolates. In addition, BCM L. monocytogenes plating agar was compared with standard Listeria selective agars (OXF and PAL agars) with regard to the recovery of L. monocytogenes from 2,000 food and environmental samples obtained from eight participating laboratories. A Listeria species was isolated from at least one of the agars in 209 analyses, and L. monocytogenes was isolated in 135 of these analyses. In 27 of the analyses in which L. monocytogenes was isolated, one or more of the selective differential agars used failed to isolate L. monocytogenes, and therefore the results of these analyses were discrepant. Relative to a reference method involving the use of all three agars (OXF, PAL, and BCM agars), the OXF-BCM, PAL-BCM, and OXF-PAL combinations had sensitivities of 99.3, 99.2, and 90.2%, respectively. In statistical analyses of the different combinations of agars, the OXF-BCM and BCM-PAL combinations were found to be superior to the OXF-PAL combination for the detection of L. monocytogenes.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Food and Drug Administration, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Pacific Regional Laboratory-Northwest, 22201 23rd Drive S.E., Bothell, Washington 98021 2: Food and Drug Administration, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Pacific Regional Laboratory-Northwest, 22201 23rd Drive S.E., Bothell, Washington 98021 3: Food and Drug Administration, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Pacific Regional Laboratory-Southwest, 1521 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90015

Publication date: March 1, 2003

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    First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, 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.

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