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Comparison of Rapid Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay and Immunomagnetic Separation Methods for Detection of Escherichia coli O157 in Fecal, Hide, Carcass, and Ground Beef Samples

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Rapid enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) are approved for detection of Escherichia coli O157 in beef products. However, these kits have also been used in the industry to detect this pathogen on hides or in feces of cattle, although this use has not been validated. The objective of this study was to compare commercially available ELISAs (E. coli Now, Reveal, and VIP) with immunomagnetic separation along with selective media to detect E. coli O157 on hides, in feces, and in medium- and low-level-inoculated ground beef and carcasses (simulated by using briskets) samples. Naturally infected hide and fecal samples were subjected to both the immunomagnetic separation method and ELISAs for the detection of E. coli O157. Additionally, E. coli O157 inoculated and noninoculated ground beef and beef briskets were used to simulate meat and carcass samples. When comparing the detection results from the ELISAs (E. coli Now, Reveal, and VIP) to the immunomagnetic separation method, poor agreement was observed for fecal samples (kappa = 0.10, 0.02, and 0.03 for E. coli Now, Reveal, and VIP, respectively), and fair-to-moderate agreement was observed for hide samples (kappa = 0.30, 0.51, and 0.29 for E. coli Now, Reveal, and VIP, respectively). However, there was near-perfect agreement between the immunomagnetic separation method and ELISAs for ground beef (kappa = 1, 1, and 0.80 for E. coli Now, Reveal, and VIP, respectively) and brisket (kappa = 1, 1, and 1 for E. coli Now, Reveal, and VIP, respectively) samples. Assuming immunomagnetic separation is the best available method, these data suggest that the ELISAs are not useful in detecting E. coli O157 from hide or fecal samples. However, when ELISAs are used on ground beef and beef brisket samples they can be used with a high degree of confidence.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas 79409 2: Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas 79409;, Ext 235;, Tel: 806-742-2805, Fax: 806-742-2427, Email: mindy.brashears@ttu.edu

Publication date: October 1, 2007

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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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