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Detection of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in cattle feces using a polymerase chain reaction-based fluorogenic 5' nuclease (TaqMan) detection assay after secondary enrichment


Detection of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in cattle feces using a polymerase chain reaction-based fluorogenic 5' nuclease (TaqMan) detection assay after secondary enrichment



Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation: Official Publication of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians Inc 15(6): 543-552



ISSN/ISBN: 1040-6387

PMID: 14667017

DOI: 10.1177/104063870301500606

Currently, methods for recovering and identifying Escherichia coli O157:H7 from cattle feces are inconsistent and hindered by their inability to specifically and rapidly detect small numbers of organisms from this complex and highly variable matrix. A standard approach for isolating and characterizing E. coli O157:H7 from cattle feces was compared with a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based 5' nuclease assay specific for E. coli O157:H7 that included a secondary enrichment step. The PCR-based method proved a better indicator of the presence of the organism than the culture procedure. Retests indicated that the inclusion of a secondary enrichment step and the subsequent analysis by the 5' nuclease assay were reproducible and specific. Escherichia coli O157:H7 could be detected in fecal samples that were otherwise negative after a primary enrichment step, immunomagnetic separation, and plating onto sorbitol MacConkey agar plates containing cefixime and tellurite (CT-SMAC). In samples that were initially identified as culture positive but PCR negative, retesting of the culture isolates on CT-SMAC indicated that the sorbitol fermentation interpretations could frequently not be repeated in retests, whereas retesting using the 5' nuclease assay on the original samples demonstrated a high level of agreement with the initial PCR conclusions. These results indicate the necessity of confirmatory evaluation of isolates culturally recovered by standard cultural methods that involve the interpretation of CT-SMAC. The high level of disagreement between initial culture results and retests, and the high level of agreement between initial PCR results and retests, indicates the advantages of a gene-based detection system for identifying E. coli O157:H7 in cattle feces. Screening large numbers of fecal samples for E. coli O157:H7 would appear to be feasible by integrating the use of enrichment media in serial rounds of incubation with a PCR-based fluorogenic detection procedure in high throughput detection systems that had automated liquid-handling capabilities.

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Accession: 048744191

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