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Food Microbiol. 2012 May;30(1):321-8. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2011 Dec 8.

Evaluation of shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) method for the detection and identification of STEC O104 strains from sprouts.

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Applied Technology Center, Pacific Regional Laboratory Northwest, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 22201 23rd Dr. SE, Bothell, WA 98021, USA.


Protocols for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) typically focus on the detection and recovery of E. coli O157:H7; however, the prevalence of outbreaks associated with non-O157 STEC are increasing and the efficacy of current testing strategies have not been fully evaluated. Non-O157 STEC are a very diverse group whose pathogenic characteristics and clinical significance have not been well established. During an outbreak situation, the rapid dissemination of specific strain characteristics can provide information needed to verify standard laboratory methodology and identify potentially effective tests to detect and recover the outbreak strain from foods. This study validated the use of a standard method to detect and recover two strains of E. coli O104 STEC at a level of approximately 1 CFU/g from sprouts. The use of additional serotype-specific real-time PCR assays and supplemental chromogenic media to assist the detection and recovery of these organisms were also evaluated.

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