Conventional foodborne pathogen assays currently used in the food industry often require long culture enrichments to increase pathogen levels so they can be detected. Even using sensitive real-time PCR assays, culture enrichment at least overnight is necessary especially for detection
of pathogens with slow growth rates such as Listeria monocytogenes. To eliminate this cumbersome enrichment step and detect minute amounts of pathogens within 1 day, filter-based pathogen enrichment technology was developed utilizing a unique combination of glass fiber depth filter
and porous filter aid materials to efficiently separate pathogens from food homogenates and avoid filter clogging by food particles. After pathogen immobilization in depth filters, only viable pathogens were selectively collected in a small volume of growth medium via microbial multiplication
and migration; nonviable pathogens remained inside the filters. By assaying viable pathogens using real-time PCRs, multiple species of foodborne pathogens were detected, including L. monocytogenes, Salmonella enterica, and Escherichia coli O157:H7, at around 1 CFU/ml or 1 CFU/g
in various food samples. This filter-based pathogen enrichment technology is a unique bacterial enrichment alternative to the conventional culture enrichment step and can significantly shorten the time necessary to obtain assay results.
Hitachi Chemical Research Center, Inc., 1003 Health Sciences Road, Irvine, California 92617, USA. tmurakami@HCRcenter.com
Publication date: September 1, 2012
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