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Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1996 Jan;36(1-2):123-73.

The polymerase chain reaction: applications for the detection of foodborne pathogens.

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Seafood Products Research Center, Food and Drug Administration, Bothell, WA 98041-3012, USA.


Faster methods for the detection of foodborne microbial pathogens are needed. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) can amplify specific segments of DNA and is used to detect and identify bacterial genes responsible for causing diseases in humans. The major features and requirements for the PCR are described along with a number of important variations. A considerable number of PCR-based assays have been developed, but they have been applied most often to clinical and environmental samples and more rarely for the detection of foodborne microorganisms. Much of the difficulty in implementing PCR for the analysis of food samples lies in the problems encountered during the preparation of template DNAs from food matrices; a variety of approaches and considerations are examined. PCR methods developed for the detection and identification of particular bacteria, viruses, and parasites found in foods are described and discussed, and the major features of these reactions are summarized.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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