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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Foodborne Toxin Detection and Prevention Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #274853

Title: TNF as biomarker for rapid quantification of active Staphylococcus enterotoxin A in food

item Rasooly, Reuven
item Hernlem, Bradley - Brad

Submitted to: Sensors
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/3/2012
Publication Date: 5/10/2012
Citation: Rasooly, R., Hernlem, B.J. 2012. TNF as biomarker for rapid quantification of active Staphylococcus enterotoxin A in food. Sensors. 12:5978-5985. doi:10.3390/s120505978.

Interpretive Summary: Staphylococcal enterotoxins (SEs) produced by bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, cause food poisoning. The gold standard assay for measuring the activity of the toxin is an in vivo monkey or kitten bioassay. However this procedure has low sensitivity and poor reproducibility. In the current study, we demonstrate an improved method for detection of SEA in food. The method is based on tumor necrosis factor (TNF) section by T cells following short term exposure to SEA.

Technical Abstract: Staphylococcus aureus is a major bacterial pathogen which causes clinical infection and food poisoning. This bacterium produces a group of twenty-one enterotoxins (SEs). These enterotoxins have two separate but related biological activities. They cause gastroenteritis and function as superantigens that activate large numbers of T cells. In the current study, we used three complimentary approaches for measuring tumor necrosis factor (TNF) as an early detection of biologically active SEA. The results demonstrate that short term ex vivo exposure of naïve primary CD4+ T-cells or splenocytes to SEA induces differential expression of TNF. We also demonstrate that expression and secretion of TNF can be used for rapid detection of active SEA in food.