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Comparison of gene amplification and culture-based methods for Salmonella detection

A recent publication in the Journal of Food Protection compares the detection sensitivity of Salmonella typhimurium by reverse transcriptase PCR, loop-mediated isothermal amplification and culture-based assays. The authors conclude that the 1-day RT-LAMP assay can be used for routine Salmonella screening by the pork industry. The full reference and abstract follows.

Comparison of reverse transcriptase PCR, reverse transcriptase loop-mediated isothermal amplification, and culture-based assays for Salmonella detection from pork processing environments. Techathuvanan C, Draughon FA, D'Souza DH. J Food Prot. 2011 Feb; 74(2): 294-301.


Novel rapid Salmonella detection assays without the need for sophisticated equipment or labor remain in high demand. Real-time reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) assays, though rapid and sensitive, require expensive thermocyclers, while a novel RT loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) method requires only a simple water bath. Our objective was to compare the detection sensitivity of Salmonella Typhimurium from the pork processing environment by RT-LAMP, RT-PCR, and culture-based assays. Carcass and surface swabs and carcass rinses were obtained from a local processing plant. Autoclaved carcass rinses (500 ml) were spiked with Salmonella Typhimurium and filtered. Filters were placed in stomacher bags containing tetrathionate broth (TTB) and analyzed with or without 10-h enrichment at 37 °C. Natural swabs were stomached with buffered peptone water, and natural carcass rinses were filtered, preenriched, and further enriched in TTB. Serially-diluted enriched samples were enumerated by spread plating on xylose lysine Tergitol 4 agar. RNA was extracted from 5 ml of enriched TTB with TRIzol. RT-LAMP assay using previously described invA primers was conducted at 62 °C for 90 min in a water bath with visual detection and by gel electrophoresis. SYBR Green I-based-real-time RT-PCR was carried out with invA primers followed by melt temperature analysis. The results of RT-LAMP detection for spiked carcass rinses were comparable to those of RT-PCR and cultural plating, with detection limits of 1 log CFU/ml, although they were obtained significantly faster, within 24 h including preenrichment and enrichment. RT-LAMP showed 4 of 12 rinse samples positive, while RT-PCR showed 1 of 12 rinse samples positive. For swabs, 6 of 27 samples positive by RT-LAMP and 5 of 27 by RT-PCR were obtained. This 1-day RT-LAMP assay shows promise for routine Salmonella screening by the pork industry.

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