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Impact of invA-PCR and culture detection methods on occurrence and survival of salmonella in the flesh, internal organs and lymphoid tissues of experimentally infected pigs.

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Institute of Animal Hygiene and Veterinary Public Health, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.


This study evaluated the suitability of invA gene amplification by PCR as an effective means of detecting Salmonella species in pigs experimentally infected with S. Typhimurium DT104. A controlled infection study using 24 pigs was performed in order to compare efficacy, precision and detection rates of the invA-based PCR method originally described by Rahn, K. De Grandis, S.A., Clarke, R.C., McEwan, S.A., Galan, J.E., Ginocchio, C., Curtiss, R. 3rd, C.L. Gyles, (Mol. Cell. Probes 1992; 6: 271-279) as a new in-house invA-based PCR method for the specific detection of Salmonella spp. in pork and different tissue samples of slaughter pigs. Finally, PCR results were compared with culture detection rates obtained by isolation procedures following the ISO 6579:2000, the 'gold standard'. After slaughtering, 14 different tissue samples of each pig were investigated to verify the usefulness of the two invA-based PCR methods in different matrices of slaughter pigs. The results demonstrate that the application of the widely used invA-based primer pair (139 + 141) may result in questionable products if samples gained from selective enrichment in the Rappaport-Vassiliadis medium were investigated. These questionable products can lead to false-positive results, if no additional hybridization procedure is attached or if unspecialized persons use this method in routine laboratory practice. The newly developed in-house PCR method used is based on the 3'-prime region of invA, especially designed and harmonized for the detection of Salmonella in different matrices of slaughtered pigs after bacterial enriched broth culture. In this study, this PCR revealed no questionable products and, furthermore, the specificity of the amplificate could be tested by means of the restriction enzyme NdeI. In comparison with the culture detection procedure, the new PCR method has a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 96%. Thus, this method might be used as a meaningful tool in eliminating Salmonella-positive carcasses at slaughterhouse level and thus, keeping them out of the food chain.

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