Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

ISU researchers develop technique for quick detection of salmonella

04.02.2009
In the hours following an outbreak of salmonella, there are many questions. And answers can be hard to find.

Where did the problem start? Can it be contained? Is the sickness likely to spread?

Iowa State University researchers have developed a technique for testing for the presence of salmonella that may give investigators better, faster answers.

The process, developed by Byron Brehm-Stecher, assistant professor in food science and human nutrition, and his graduate student Bledar Bisha, begins with testing the food, in most cases produce, with a strip of adhesive tape.

The tape is applied to the produce, then carefully removed, taking a sample of whatever is on the skin of the produce. That sample is then put on a slide and soaked in a special warm, soapy mixture that contains a genetic marker that binds with salmonella and gives off a fluorescent glow when viewed under an ultraviolet light. Use of this genetic marker approach is called Fluorescent In-Situ Hybridization, or FISH.

The approach can tell investigators if the produce is contaminated with salmonella in about two hours.

"This method is rapid, it's easy, and it's cheap," said Brehm-Stecher.

Current methods of detecting salmonella take one to seven days.

Brehm-Stecher and Bisha call the process "tape-FISH" and note that it could be an important technique for salmonella investigators.

"I think this will be good tool in outbreak investigation and routine surveillance especially since all you need is tape, a heat block, a small centrifuge and a fluorescence microscope," said Brehm-Stecher. "It has the potential to be very portable."

Brehm-Stecher's and Bisha's findings will be published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, published by the American Society of Microbiology.

Once at a location where an outbreak of salmonella has occurred, investigators can test the produce for contamination. Outbreaks can be due to other factors such as food preparation.

Once investigators find the origin of the salmonella, they can take steps to contain it, said Brehm-Stecher.

Salmonella can be found on produce such as tomatoes, cilantro, peppers, spinach and others. The produce can be contaminated while it is in the fields or during processing. Washing the produce thoroughly can help, but cannot ensure the produce will be safe.

The tape-FISH technique can also be used to test produce that is not suspected of being contaminated, but the volume of produce that would need to be tested may make this impractical. However, the technique could be very valuable as a basic research tool. Researchers could investigate how salmonella and other types of organisms interact on produce surfaces, said Brehm-Stecher.

This is the first application of tape-FISH to salmonella, but the idea came to the ISU researcher while reading about art restoration.

In 2008, Brehm-Stecher read about an Italian group that was using a similar approach to look for bacteria on ancient catacombs. Those researchers were hoping to identify and remove bacteria that were slowly eating away at the relics.

After some classroom discussion with his students, Brehm-Stecher decided that using the FISH on produce could be useful and began researching the idea with Bisha. Together, they were able to apply the method to produce and made several improvements in speed and sensitivity over the existing tape-FISH approach. Brehm-Stecher hopes that his tape-FISH approach can help speed investigations of produce contamination, such as last summer's outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul, which was eventually traced to imported jalapeno and Serrano peppers.

Byron Brehm-Stecher | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.iastate.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Correct connections are crucial
26.06.2017 | Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin

nachricht One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold

26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Switchable DNA mini-machines store information

26.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>