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Annu Rev Microbiol. 1994;48:401-26.

Rapid detection of food-borne pathogenic bacteria.

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Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333.


Recent advancements in biotechnology are rapidly altering the diagnostic procedures used in microbiologic analysis of foods. Biochemical identification tests have been miniaturized and automated, making them faster and more economical. Pathogenic bacteria that were previously isolated and identified after labor- and time-intensive enrichment and plating procedures can now be detected by measuring specific physicochemical changes resulting from their growth or metabolic activity. Nucleic acid and antibody-based assays are now used to rapidly and reliably detect pathogenic bacteria in foods. Nevertheless, foods offer unique challenges to the application of these techniques because of their complexity and variety, their interference with the rapid detection methods, and the need to detect pathogenic bacteria when they are present in foods at very low levels. Methods to sequester target pathogenic bacteria from interfering food components and to concentrate them in small volumes are needed to enable the efficient application of rapid detection and identification methods.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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