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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Red River Valley Agricultural Research Center » Animal Metabolism-Agricultural Chemicals Research » Research » Research Project #425232

Research Project: Evaluation of Detection Methods for Shiga-Toxin Producing Escherichia coli and Salmonella from Cattle Fecal Samples, Retail Meat, and Fresh Produce

Location: Animal Metabolism-Agricultural Chemicals Research

Project Number: 3060-32420-002-01-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2013
End Date: Jun 30, 2016

Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and/or Salmonella are ranked as the most prevalent foodborne pathogens in the US. The objective of this cooperative research project is to compare different methods of detecting STEC and/or Salmonella to identify the most efficient and reliable methods in cattle fecal samples, meat, and fresh produce and apply the selected methods to real world samples. The experiments will produce information on the best enrichment procedure, most suitable selection media, and the sensitivity and selectivity of the methods to enhance surveillance efficiency of food borne pathogens to ensure food safety. New targets will be identified for rapid screening assays development.

Different STEC or Salmonella strains that are of food safety concern will be inoculated into three different matrices (cattle feces, meat, and fresh produce) and the ability of different analytical methods to detect the STEC or Salmonella strains will be determined. Included in the evaluation will be measures of the sensitivity and specificity in different matrices. The inclusion or omission of immunomagnetic separation prior to analysis and its effect in altering the sensitivity or specificity will be determined. Methods of improving immunomagnetic separation and agglutination assay sensitivity and selectivity will be explored. In addition, new targets will be identified for screening assay development. Once the best methods have been chosen, their applicability of real world samples will be evaluated.