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Shigella outbreaks are widely reported throughout the world. However, it remains a challenge to isolate Shigella spp. from foods by using conventional microbiological media. The main objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a novel chromogenic medium,
Rainbow agar Shigella/Aeromonas (Rainbow agar), for the isolation and detection of Shigella spp. in foods. All four Shigella species, S. sonnei, S. flexneri, S. dysenteriae, and S. boydii, were studied. Rainbow agar was compared with
tryptic soy agar, xylose lysine desoxycholate agar (XLD), and Salmonella Shigella agar (SSA) for enumeration of Shigella spp. in pure culture. This chromogenic agar and XLD were also used to isolate Shigella spp. in artificially contaminated foods (4.8 log CFU/g of food),
including lettuce, parsley, cilantro, spinach, potato salad, and shrimp. The inhibitory effect on Shigella growth by Rainbow agar was between that of XLD and SSA. All vegetables studied showed a moderately high background microflora on XLD and Rainbow agar. With artificially inoculated
produce, Rainbow agar recovered about 1 to 2 log CFU more S. sonnei, S. dysenteriae, and S. boydii per g of food than did XLD. For potato salad and shrimp, which had low background microflora on Rainbow agar, Rainbow agar was slightly better in recovering Shigella
spp. than XLD was in most cases. However, we found that the addition of streptomycin (6.25 mg/liter) to Rainbow agar could facilitate the isolation of Shigella in vegetables tested. In conclusion, Rainbow agar was a much more effective medium than was XLD for the isolation of Shigella
spp. from foods.
Document Type: Research Article
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, HFS-712, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 5100 Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, Maryland 20740, USA
Publication date: August 1, 2010
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