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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Egg and Poultry Production Safety Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #280258

Title: Impact of Strain Variation on the Ability of Biosensor Technology to Detect Salmonella enterica

item Guard, Jean

Submitted to: International Association for Food Protection
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/7/2012
Publication Date: 7/23/2012
Citation: Guard, J.Y. 2012. Impact of Strain Variation on the Ability of Biosensor Technology to Detect Salmonella enterica. International Association for Food Protection. p. 1-45.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Introduction: It is important to develop methods that can quickly and accurately detect the presence of bacteria in the food supply that cause disease. Salmonella enterica is a bacteria that is often associated with contamination of food. Strains vary in their ability to cause illness and to spread. Methods that target cell surface structures for finding Salmonella enterica should be evaluated for their ability to detect highly variable strains, because targets could be missing, masked or have alternative structures. Purpose: This study tested the ability of biosensor technology to detect strains of Salmonella enterica known to vary in growth properties and cell surface structures. Some of the strains had mutations that altered the appearance of only one cell surface structure. Other strains had mutations in metabolic pathways, which could more globally affect the appearance of multiple structures on the outer membrane as well as growth properties. Methods: CANARY biosensors are B-cell lines that express monoclonal antibodies and the aequorin gene, so that luminescence is generated when the antibodies bind to their antigen. We tested PathSensors’ CANARY biosensor based technology for the ability to detect 18 different strains of Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis). Nine other serotypes of Salmonella enterica were tested. Strain variation within the set was maximized by deliberate mutation or by selection for the absence of cell surface molecules. Results: One strain of Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis was found that was difficult to detect, because it overexpressed a gene contributing to pili formation. In addition, Salmonella enterica that grew to high cell density impeded detection, because a high organic load interfered with signal development. Strains varied in the lower limit of detection, which was between 30 and 300 CFU per sample aliquot. Significance: Samples that contain Salmonella enterica can appear negative or weakly positive if cell concentrations are very high (>107 CFU) or very low (< 102 CFU). Only one strain was found that confounded detection at all cell concentrations and it is not found in nature. High organic load, originating from either a high target cell concentration or from an external mileau that dilutes target cells to less than a lower limit of detection, may interfere with detection. CANARY biosensor based technology accurately detected Salmonella enterica even when exceptional strain variation was present, but within parameters of optimal cell concentration.