Novel technique to detect salmonella developed

February 3rd, 2009 - 5:54 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Feb 3 (ANI): Researchers from Iowa State University have developed a novel technique to detect salmonella, bacteria that causes foodborne illnesses.

The process, developed by Byron Brehm-Stecher, assistant professor in food science and human nutrition, and his graduate student Bledar Bisha, begins with testing the food, in most cases produce, with a strip of adhesive tape.

The tape is applied to the produce, then carefully removed, taking a sample of whatever is on the skin of the produce.

That sample is then put on a slide and soaked in a special warm, soapy mixture that contains a genetic marker that binds with salmonella and gives off a fluorescent glow when viewed under an ultraviolet light.

The approach called Fluorescent In-Situ Hybridization, or FISH can tell investigators if the produce is contaminated with salmonella in about two hours.

“This method is rapid, it’’s easy, and it’’s cheap,” said Brehm-Stecher.

Presently, the methods of detecting salmonella take one to seven days.

“I think this will be good tool in outbreak investigation and routine surveillance especially since all you need is tape, a heat block, a small centrifuge and a fluorescence microscope,” said Brehm-Stecher.

“It has the potential to be very portable,” he added. (ANI)

The study is published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. (ANI)

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