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J Dairy Sci. 2005 Oct;88(10):3475-9.

Prevalence of Salmonella enterica in bulk tank milk from US dairies as determined by polymerase chain reaction.

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Environmental Microbial Safety Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA.


Samples of bulk tank milk from dairies across the United States, taken as part of the National Animal Health Monitoring System Dairy 2002 survey, were analyzed for the presence of Salmonella enterica using a commercially available real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) kit. Samples from 854 farms in 21 states were collected and enriched in tetrathionate broth to amplify any salmonellae present, and DNA was isolated from the resulting biomass. One hundred one samples (11.8%) were shown to contain Salmonella enterica using the real-time PCR assay, whereas conventional culture techniques detected the pathogen in only 22 (2.6%) of the samples. A conventional PCR assay targeting a different gene from Salmonella enterica confirmed the presence of the organism in 94 of the real-time PCR-positive samples. Thus, assay of milk samples by real-time PCR indicates that the prevalence of Salmonella enterica in US bulk tank milk is substantially higher than previously reported.

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