Submitted to: Proceedings of the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/3/2006
Publication Date: 3/19/2006
Citation: Phillips, R.W., Jenkins, M., Kelley, L. 2006. Development of a rapid TaqMan protocol for detection of francisella tularensis in a food matrix [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases, March 19-22, 2006, Atlanta, Georgia. p. 139.
Technical Abstract: Francisella tularensis, the etiologic agent of tularemia, is highly infectious and considered a critical biological agent for public health preparedness. Because of the potential of F. tularensis contaminating the food supply on an industrial scale, timely methods of detection must be in place. We compared a standard FDA culture-based method with a multi-targeted, real-time TaqMan PCR assay developed specifically for detecting small numbers of F. tularensis in environmental samples. Both the culture-based and real-time PCR methods were capable of detecting less than 100 F. tularensis cells g-1 of retail ground beef. The real-time PCR method yielded results in less than 6 h; whereas, the culture-based method yielded results in greater than 48 h. For detecting F. tularensis in ground beef, the real-time PCR protocol was timely and unequivocal in its detection.