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A PCR Method Based on 16S rRNA Sequence for Simultaneous Detection of the Genus Listeria and the Species Listeria monocytogenes in Food Products

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The genus Listeria comprises six closely related species, of which only Listeria monocytogenes is a human pathogen. The rapid and sensitive detection of L. monocytogenes is important in the food industry as well as in medical diagnosis. In this study, a PCR-based method for the rapid, specific, and sensitive detection of L. monocytogenes in food products was developed. The PCR is based on DNA sequences and primer pairs that are found within the 16S subunit of the rRNA gene and are specific to the Listeria genus and to L. monocytogenes within the Listeria genus. The primers for the Listeria genus and for L. monocytogenes were used in the same reaction mix for their simultaneous detection. In addition, a pair of bacterial primers universal to any bacterial DNA at the 16S subunit of the rRNA gene were developed as a positive control. For the detection of Listeria and L. monocytogenes in food products, the method includes selective enrichment for Listeria followed by DNA extraction and a specific PCR reaction. The method detects 1 to 5 CFU in a 25-g sample in ≤24 h. It can be easily incorporated into the routine screening of diverse food products and readily adapted for clinical use.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Food Engineering and Biotechnology, Technion—Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel

Publication date: 2003-09-01

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