Submitted to: Journal of Food Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/7/2008
Publication Date: 10/1/2008
Citation: Schonenbrucher, H., Gobel, K.A., Abdulmajood, A., Richt, J.A., Bulte, M. 2008. Comparative Studies of a Real-Time PCR Method and Three Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays for the Detection of Central Nervous System Tissues in Meat Products. Journal of Food Protection. 71(10):2059-2066. Interpretive Summary: The removal of Central Nervous System (CNS) tissues as part of the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) risk material from the food chain is one of the highest priority tasks to avoid contamination of the human food chain with BSE. It is part of the diagnostic quality assurance and required by International Standard Organization protocols (ISO) to compare the suitability of new developed methods with reference or widely used methods. This study compared a recently developed real time-PCR method and three ELISA for the detection of CNS in meat products. These ELISA were widely used. A benefit for the beef producing industry and diagnostic laboratories is the assessment of the applicability of all of these diagnostic methods for routine testing of possible CNS contamination in raw minced meat and heat treated meat products. It also proves the reliability of the real time-PCR assay used in this study for the analysis of processed meat products.
Technical Abstract: The removal of Central Nervous System (CNS) tissues as part of the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) risk material from the food chain is one of the highest priority tasks to avoid contamination of the human food chain with BSE. The present study evaluated a recently developed real time-PCR assay and three commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) for the detection of CNS tissues in minced meat and three different types of heat treated sausages. Bovine brain was used for artificial spiking of internal reference material and its detectability was examined during a storage time of 12 months (in frozen minced meat and liver sausage) and 24 months (in medium and high-heated sausages). The real time-PCR method and both ELISA kits had a sensitivity to detect 0.1% CNS tissues in frozen minced meat and 0.1% or 1% in heat treated meat products, respectively. It was proven, that the detectability of the amplified messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) target regions is highly similar to the ELISA systems used. Since the real time-PCR method also offers the possibility to distinguish cattle, ovine and caprine from porcine CNS tissues seems to be suitable as a routine diagnostic test for the sensitive and specific detection of CNS tissues in meat and meat products.