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Int J Food Microbiol. 2005 Jul 15;102(2):161-71.

Application of SYBR green real-time PCR assay for specific detection of Salmonella spp. in dairy farm environmental samples.

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Food Safety Center of Excellence and Department of Animal Science, 59 McCord Hall, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA.


The objective of this study was to develop and evaluate a SYBR Green 1 real-time PCR method for the specific detection of Salmonella spp. in dairy farm environmental samples. Previously reported 119-bp invA gene was selected for specificity, and 124 Salmonella spp. including type strains and 116 non-Salmonella strains were evaluated. All Salmonella strains tested were invA-positive and all non-salmonella strains yielded no amplification products. The melting temperature (Tm=79 degrees C) was consistently specific for the amplicon. Correlation coefficients of standard curves constructed using the threshold cycle (C(T)) versus copy numbers of Salmonella Enteritidis showed good linearity in broth (R2=0.994; slope=3.256) and sterilized milk (R2=0.988; slope=3.247), and the minimum levels of detection were >10(2) and >10(3) colony forming units (CFU)/ml, respectively. To validate the real-time PCR assay, an experiment was conducted with both spiked and naturally contaminated samples. Lagoon water, feed/silage, bedding soil, and bulk tank milk samples obtained from dairy farms were spiked with 10(0) to 10(5) CFU/ml of Salmonella Enteritidis. Sensitivities for detecting Salmonella in these sources were 10(3) to 10(4) CFU/ml of inoculums in broth without enrichment. Detection limits were reduced to <10 CFU/ml of inoculum in broth after 18 h enrichment. Ninety-three environmental samples including fecal slurry, feed/silage, lagoon water, drinking water, bulk tank milk, farm soil, and bedding soil were analyzed for the presence of Salmonella by real-time PCR, results were compared with those obtained by conventional culture methods. All samples analyzed were negative for Salmonella by both real-time PCR and standard culture method. No false positive or false negative results were detected.

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