Comparison of Primers for the Detection of Pathogenic Escherichia Coli Using Real Time PCR in Sprout Irrigation Water

Comparison of primers for the detection of pathogenic Escherichia coli using real-time PCR.
Lett Appl Microbiol. 2005;41(2):112-8.
Barak JD,Sananikone K,Delwiche MJ.
Produce Safety and Microbiology Research Unit, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Albany, CA, USA.

Aims: To evaluate PCR primers for the detection of pathogenic Escherichia coli in a real-time PCR assay and determine their utility in produce irrigation water testing. Methods and Results: Three previously published PCR primer sets and one set designed for this study were tested for their ability to produce amplification products for several pathogenic E. coli serotypes from whole cells as template. Two of the previously published primer sets were chosen for real-time PCR detection limit determination. The coneaeA and PEH detection limit of E. coli O157:H7 was 10(0) and 10(1) CFU rxn(-1) in sterile water respectively. To detect E. coli O157:H7 in sprout irrigation water, the water required dilution due to PCR inhibitors. The detection limit of the coneaeA and PEH was 10(1) and between 10(2) and 10(3) CFU rxn(-1) in diluted sprout irrigation water respectively. Conclusions: The primer set coneaeA was able to produce an amplification product from each E. coli serotype, except O128:H7 and most sensitive for real-time PCR detection of pathogenic E. coli in diluted sprout irrigation water. Significance and Impact of the Study: The necessity of a dissociation analysis to distinguish positive samples from those with fluorescence of random dsDNA generation for real-time PCR in a complex background was established.