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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1995 Oct;61(10):3724-8.

Use of a fluorogenic probe in a PCR-based assay for the detection of Listeria monocytogenes.

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Department of Food Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA.


A PCR-based assay for Listeria monocytogenes that uses the hydrolysis of an internal fluorogenic probe to monitor the amplification of the target has been formatted. The fluorogenic 5' nuclease PCR assay takes advantage of the endogenous 5' --> 3' nuclease activity of Taq DNA polymerase to digest a probe which is labelled with two fluorescent dyes and hybridizes to the amplicon during PCR. When the probe is intact, the two fluorophores interact such that the emission of the reporter dye is quenched. During amplification, the probe is hydrolyzed, relieving the quenching of the reporter and resulting in an increase in its fluorescence intensity. This change in reporter dye fluorescence is quantitative for the amount of PCR product and, under appropriate conditions, for the amount of template. We have applied the fluorogenic 5' nuclease PCR assay to detect L. monocytogenes, using an 858-bp amplicon of hemolysin (hlyA) as the target. Maximum sensitivity was achieved by evaluating various fluorogenic probes and then optimizing the assay components and cycling parameters. With crude cell lysates, the total assay could be completed in 3 h with a detection limit of approximately 50 CFU. Quantification was linear over a range of 5 x 10(1) to 5 x 10(5) CFU.

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