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Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization Method Using a Peptide Nucleic Acid Probe for Identification of Salmonella spp. in a Broad Spectrum of Samples ▿

By C. Almeida, N. F. Azevedo, R. M. Fernandes, C. W. Keevil and M. J. Vieira


A fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) method for the rapid detection of Salmonella spp. using a novel peptide nucleic acid (PNA) probe was developed. The probe theoretical specificity and sensitivity were both 100%. The PNA-FISH method was optimized, and laboratory testing on representative strains from the Salmonella genus subspecies and several related bacterial species confirmed the predicted theoretical values of specificity and sensitivity. The PNA-FISH method has been successfully adapted to detect cells in suspension and is hence able to be employed for the detection of this bacterium in blood, feces, water, and powdered infant formula (PIF). The blood and PIF samples were artificially contaminated with decreasing pathogen concentrations. After the use of an enrichment step, the PNA-FISH method was able to detect 1 CFU per 10 ml of blood (5 × 109 ± 5 × 108 CFU/ml after an overnight enrichment step) and also 1 CFU per 10 g of PIF (2 × 107 ± 5 × 106 CFU/ml after an 8-h enrichment step). The feces and water samples were also enriched according to the corresponding International Organization for Standardization methods, and results showed that the PNA-FISH method was able to detect Salmonella immediately after the first enrichment step was conducted. Moreover, the probe was able to discriminate the bacterium in a mixed microbial population in feces and water by counter-staining with 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI). This new method is applicable to a broad spectrum of samples and takes less than 20 h to obtain a diagnosis, except for PIF samples, where the analysis takes less than 12 h. This procedure may be used for food processing and municipal water control and also in clinical settings, representing an improved alternative to culture-based techniques and to the existing Salmonella PNA probe, Sal23S10, which presents a lower specificity

Topics: Methods
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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