Polymerase Chain Reaction for the rapid detection and serovar-identification of Salmonella in food and feeding stuff

Malorny, B.; Huehn, S.; Dieckmann, R.; Krämer, N.; Helmuth, R.

The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is one of the most important rapid methods for the sensitive and specific detection of pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms. The method is increasingly applied in surveillance and monitoring programs to detect pathogens, especially for ensuring the safety and quality of food. The food-borne pathogen Salmonella together with Campylobacter is the most predominant bacterial pathogen in Europe, causing approximately 160,000 confirmed human cases per year. During the last two decades the importance of Salmonella for food safety triggered the development of dozens of PCR-based detection methods. They promise significant advantages compared to the traditional culture-based methods with respect to speed, easiness, reliability, sensitivity, cost effectiveness and automation. However, many of them are not applicable because of lacking validation procedures. Meanwhile PCR has internationally been standardized and guidelines as well as standards for the validation of alternative methods, such as PCR, were established. This review will give an overview of the historical development of PCR-based methods for the detection of Salmonella including validation aspects and summarizes the state-of-the-art for the detection of Salmonella in food and feed stuff by real-time PCR. Furthermore, current multiplex PCR-based serovar-specific identification methods will be reviewed.

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Malorny, B. / Huehn, S. / Dieckmann, R. / et al: Polymerase Chain Reaction for the rapid detection and serovar-identification of Salmonella in food and feeding stuff. 2008.

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