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Rapid Detection and Differentiation of Campylobacter jejuni, Campylobacter coli, and Campylobacter lari in Food, Using Multiplex Real-Time PCR

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Abstract:

A multiplex real-time PCR assay based on four differently labeled TaqMan probes for detection and differentiation of the thermophilic Campylobacter species C. jejuni, C. coli, and C. lari was established and validated in food products. This assay combines two previously published PCR assays for C. jejuni and C. coli with a newly developed detection assay for C. lari and an internal amplification control system. The selectivity of the method was determined by analyzing 70 Campylobacter strains and 43 strains of other bacteria. The sensitivity was 50 fg of C. jejuni and C. lari DNA and 500 fg of C. coli DNA per PCR. It was possible to detect 1 to 10 CFU/25 g of food before preenrichment of all three species. More than 400 samples of various foods (poultry, seafood, and meat) were analyzed after 48 h of preenrichment parallel to the conventional diagnostic method of culture and biochemical identification. Using the established real-time PCR assay, 55.4% of the samples were recognized as positive for thermophilic Campylobacter species, whereas with the conventional method only 40.3% of the samples were positive. The real-time PCR assay also detected contaminations with two different Campylobacter species in 32.6% of the analyzed poultry samples, a finding of epidemiological interest. Compared with the original PCR method, which was established for the differentiation of bacterial isolates of C. jejuni and C. coli, this new method also detects and distinguishes C. lari, was validated as an analytical tool for food analysis, and provides reliable and extensive results within 2 days.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority, Veterinärstr. 2, D-85764 Oberschleißheim, Germany 2: Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Diedersdorfer Weg 1, D-12277 Berlin, Germany; Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, Department of Safety and Quality of Meat, E.-C.-BaumannStr. 20, D-95326 Kulmbach, Germany 3: Center of Life and Food Science, Department of Animal Sciences, Institute of Animal Hygiene, Technical University of Munich, Weihenstephaner Berg 3, D-85354 Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany

Publication date: February 1, 2010

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