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Wilmington, DE, United States

Fratamico P.M.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Wasilenko J.L.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Garman B.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Demarco D.R.,Du Pont Nutrition and Health | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Food Protection | Year: 2014

The "top-six" non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) serogroups (O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145) most frequently associated with outbreaks and cases of foodborne illnesses have been declared as adulterants in beef by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Regulatory testing in beef began in June 2012. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the Du Pont BAX System method for detecting these top six STEC strains and strains of E. coli O157:H7. For STEC, the BAX System real-time STEC suite was evaluated, including a screening assay for the stx and eae virulence genes and two panel assays to identify the target serogroups: panel 1 detects O26, O111, and O121, and panel 2 detects O45, O103, O145. For E. coli O157:H7, the BAX System real-time PCR assay for this specific serotype was used. Sensitivity of each assay for the PCR targets was ≥1.23 | 103CFU/ml in pure culture. Each assay was 100% inclusive for the strains tested (20 to 50 per assay), and no cross-reactivity with closely related strains was observed in any of the assays. The performance of the BAX System methods was compared with that of the FSIS Microbiology Laboratory Guidebook (MLG) methods for detection of the top six STEC and E. coli O157:H7 strains in ground beef and beef trim. Generally, results of the BAX System method were similar to those of the MLG methods for detecting non-O157 STEC and E. coli O157:H7. Reducing or eliminating novobiocin in modified tryptic soy broth (mTSB) may improve the detection of STEC O111 strains; one beef trim sample inoculated with STEC O111 produced a negative result when enriched in mTSB with 8 mg/liter novobiocin but was positive when enriched in mTSB without novobiocin. The results of this study indicate the feasibility of deploying a panel of real-time PCR assay configurations for the detection and monitoring of the top six STEC and E. coli O157:H7 strains in beef. The approach could easily be adapted for additional multiplex assays should regulations expand to include other O serogroups or virulence genes. © International Association for Food Protection.

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