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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: UMBRELLA PROJECT FOR FOOD SAFETY

Location: Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit

Title: Development of Bioluminescent Salmonella Strains for Use in Food Safety

Authors
item Attila, K - MISS. STATE UNIV.
item Howe, K - MISS. STATE UNIV.
item Kirkpatrick, T - MISS. STATE UNIV.
item Wills, R - MISS. STATE UNIV.
item Hartford-Bailey, R - MISS. STATE UNIV.
item Lawrence, M - MISS. STATE UNIV.

Submitted to: BioMed Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 22, 2008
Publication Date: January 22, 2008
Citation: Attila, K., Howe, K., Kirkpatrick, T.B., Wills, R.W., Hartford-Bailey, R., Lawrence, M.L. 2008. Development of Bioluminescent Salmonella Strains for Use in Food Safety. BioMed Central-Microbiology. 8:10.

Interpretive Summary: Salmonellosis is a common food borne illness in humans caused by bacteria in the genus Salmonella. It is typically transmitted to humans through consumption of foods contaminated with the salomonella bacteria. Better methods for tracking and studying this important pathogen will allow development of techniques to improve food safety. We have developed salmonella strains that posses a bioluminescent gene that allows real-time monitoring of the pathogen's growth on food products. As a demonstration of the usefulness of this technology we determined the effects of washing chicken skin on attachment of various salmonella strains. The results demonstrated that bioluminescence is a sensitive and effective tool to detect Salmonella on food products in real-time. Bioluminescence imaging is a promising technology that can be utilized to evaluate new food safety measures for reducing Salmonella contamination on food products.

Technical Abstract: Salmonella can reside in healthy animals without the manifestation of any adverse effects on the carrier. If raw products of animal origin are not handled properly during processing or cooked to a proper temperature during preparation, salmonellosis can occur. In this research, we developed bioluminescent Salmonella strains that can be used for real-time monitoring of the pathogen's growth on food products. To accomplish this, twelve Salmonella strains from the broiler production continuum were transformed with the broad host range plasmid pAKlux1, and a chicken skin attachment model was developed. Salmonella strains carrying pAKlux1 constitutively expressed the luxCDABE operon and were therefore detectable using bioluminescence. Strains were characterized in terms of bioluminescence properties and plasmid stability. To assess the usefulness of bioluminescent Salmonella strains in food safety studies, we developed an attachment model using chicken skin. The effect of washing on attachment of Salmonella strains to chicken skin was tested using bioluminescent strains, which revealed the attachment properties of each strain. This study demonstrated that bioluminescence is a sensitive and effective tool to detect Salmonella on food products in real-time. Bioluminescence imaging is a promising technology that can be utilized to evaluate new food safety measures for reducing Salmonella contamination on food products.

Last Modified: 8/30/2014