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J Dairy Sci. 2005 Oct;88(10):3510-8.

Simultaneous detection of mastitis pathogens, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus uberis, and Streptococcus agalactiae by multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction.

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Food Safety Center of Excellence, Department of Animal Science, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville 37996, USA.


The objective of this study was to develop a multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method for simultaneous detection of Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus agalactiae, and Streptococcus uberis directly from milk. A genetic marker specific for Staph. aureus was used for primers and dual-labeled probe design. The target for Strep. agalactiae primers and dual-labeled probe was selected from the cfb gene encoding the Christie-Atkins-Munch-Petersen factor. The plasminogen activator gene was the target for primers and dual-labeled probe design for Strep. uberis. Quarter milk samples (n = 192) were analyzed by the multiplex real-time PCR assay and conventional microbiological methods. An additional 57 quarter milk samples were analyzed in a separate real-time PCR assay for Strep. agalactiae only. Using an overnight enrichment step, the real-time PCR technique correctly identified 96.4% of all quarter milk samples; 91.7% of Staph. aureus, 98.2% of Strep. agalactiae, and 100% of Strep. uberis. Results of conventional microbiological methods were used to determine the sensitivity and specificity of the multiplex real-time PCR procedure. The sensitivity of the procedure to correctly identify Staph. aureus, Strep. agalactiae, and Strep. uberis directly from milk was 95.5%, and the specificity was 99.6%. Results of this study indicate that the multiplex real-time PCR procedure has the potential to be a valuable diagnostic technique for simultaneous identification of Staph. aureus, Strep. agalactiae, and Strep. uberis directly from quarter milk samples.

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