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Chapter 43 : Rapid Methods for the Detection of Foodborne Pathogens: Current and Next-Generation Technologies
Category: Applied and Industrial Microbiology; Food Microbiology
The history of biotechnology reveals that scientific discoveries lead to technological advances and these are usually followed by a phase of research and development to find applications for the technologies. The authors are currently in another application phase, where new technologies such as real-time PCR (rtPCR), DNA microarrays, and biosensors are providing very sophisticated tools for use in diagnostics. This chapter therefore includes discussions on these "next-generation technologies," which will have an impact on the way one can test for pathogens and toxins in foods. All identification assays require a pure culture of the unknown bacteria, which is then identified most often by its biochemical characteristics. It is a lengthy, labor-intensive, and media-consuming process. The introduction of miniaturized biochemical kits, which provide a quick biochemical profile of bacteria at a great savings in cost, labor, and time, has simplified the process of bacterial identification and continues to be important in regulatory testing of foods. Many of the new methods use next-generation technologies such as rtPCR, biosensors, and DNA chips, which may be more rapid, more sensitive, and capable of multitarget testing and hence are well suited for use in screening large numbers of samples in compliance or food security surveillance programs. Furthermore, comparative evaluation by with standard methods or validation of rapid methods is critical to document their efficacy in detecting foodborne pathogens and toxins.
History of biotechnology. Modified from reference 29 .
Conventional microbiological analysis of foods.
Partial list of miniaturized and automated identification kits for bacteria a
Partial list of commercially available assays and specialty substrate media for detection of foodborne bacteria a
Partial list of commercially available nucleic acid-based assays for detection of foodborne bacterial pathogens a
Partial list of commercially available antibody-based assays for the detection of foodborne pathogens a
Partial listing of rapid methods for the detection of bacterial toxins a
Approximate detection sensitivity of various formats