Detection of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli in meat foods using DNA probes, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and polymerase chain reaction
Alexandre, M.; Prado, V.; Ulloa, M.T.; Arellano, C.; Rios, M.
Journal of Veterinary Medicine. B Infectious Diseases and Veterinary Public Health 48(5): 321-330
Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) is an important cause of diarrhoea with blood and haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) in children and elderly people. Infections with EHEC are a world-wide public health problem, related to consumption of contaminated ground beef. The aim of this study was to establish whether different meat foods sold in Santiago, Chile pose an infection risk by EHEC and to evaluate three different diagnostic techniques in foods, to determine which is most applicable for use in Chile. A parallel analysis was performed on 64 samples of meat foods (23 refrigerated ground meat, 23 refrigerated long pork sausages and 18 frozen hamburgers) sold in Santiago, Chile using DNA probes, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Twenty-four samples (24 of 64 = 37.5%) were positive by DNA probes, ELISA or PCR. The positive and negative predictive values, sensitivity and specificity of ELISA were 26.7, 81.6, 30.8 and 78.4%, respectively. The positive and negative predictive values, sensitivity and specificity of PCR were 91.7, 96.2, 84.6 and 98%, respectively. The EHEC serogroups most frequently isolated were O158, O157, O119, O125 and O114. These results show that, although molecular techniques such as enzyme immunoassays are useful for EHEC detection in meat foods, PCR has advantages in terms of sensitivity, specificity, cost and ease of implementation in Chile.