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Mayr A.M.,Health and Food Safety Authority | Lick S.,German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment | Bauer J.,Institute of Animal Hygiene | Tharigen D.,Health and Food Safety Authority | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Food Protection | Year: 2010

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 realtime 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. ©, International Association for Food Protection.

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