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Comparison of PCR Prescreening to Two Cultivation Procedures with PCR Confirmation for Detection of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis in U.S. Department of Agriculture Fecal Check Test Samples

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Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) is the etiologic agent in Johne's disease in cattle and causes diarrhea, decreased milk production, emaciation, and frequently death. The ability to detect MAP rapidly and accurately is an integral part of herd management. However, detection of this bacterium is complicated due to its slow division time and its ability to enter dormancy. Culture methods are considered the ''gold standard,'' but they have their limitations. Many enzymelinked immunosorbent assay methods and conventional PCR methods have been used as diagnostic tools. The present study compares the results of a PCR prescreen to two culture methods of detection paired with confirmatory PCR to determine the most accurate, rapid, and sensitive method using U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) fecal check samples. This study involving two laboratories (Marshfield Clinic Laboratories, using solid culture medium [Herrold's egg yolk agar], and TREK Diagnostic Systems Research and Development, using liquid culture medium [ESP Culture System II]) showed that the PCR prescreening method used in this study lacked specificity and sensitivity as a stand-alone test in fecal samples. However, the combination of liquid enrichment culture using the ESP II system, and PCR confirmation with the hspX primer set, was not only 100% sensitive and specific but also correlated with viable MAP and USDA culture results.

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: Marshfield Clinic Laboratories Food Safety Services, Marshfield Clinic, 1000 North Oak Avenue, Marshfield, Wisconsin 54449, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2004

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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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