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Comparative Studies of a Real-Time PCR Method and Three Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays for the Detection of Central Nervous System Tissues in Meat Products

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Abstract:

The removal of certain central nervous system (CNS) tissues (part of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy risk material) from the food chain is one of the highest priority tasks associated with avoiding contamination of the human food chain with the agent of bovine spongiform encephalopathy. A recently developed real-time PCR assay and three commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) for the detection of CNS tissues in minced meat and three types of heat-treated sausages were evaluated. Bovine brain was used for spiking of internal reference material, and its detectability was examined during storage times of 12 months (for frozen minced meat and liver sausage) and 24 months (for sausages treated with medium and high heat). The real-time PCR method and both ELISA kits detected 0.1% CNS tissue in frozen minced meat and 0.1 or 1% CNS tissue in heat-treated meat products. The detectability of the amplified mRNA target region with the PCR assay was similar to the detectability of antigen by the ELISAs. Because the real-time PCR method also can be used to distinguish cattle, ovine, and caprine CNS tissues from porcine CNS tissues, it seems to be suitable as a routine diagnostic test for the sensitive and specific detection of CNS tissues in meat and meat products.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Veterinary Food Science, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Frankfurter Str. 92, D-35392 Giessen, Germany; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Center, National Animal Disease Center, 2300 Dayton Avenue, Ames, Iowa 50010, USA 2: Institute of Veterinary Food Science, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Frankfurter Str. 92, D-35392 Giessen, Germany 3: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Center, National Animal Disease Center, 2300 Dayton Avenue, Ames, Iowa 50010, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2008

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