Improved Template Preparation for PCR

Improved Template Preparation for PCR-Based Assays for Detection of Food-Borne Bacterial Pathogens

Keith A. Lampel, Palmer A. Orlandi, and Leroy Kornegay

Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, Washington, D.C. 20204



Shigella flexneri,Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium, and Listeria monocytogenes were applied to FTA filters, and the filters were used directly as templates to demonstrate their sensitivity and applicability in PCR-based detection assays. With pure cultures, the sensitivities of detection by FTA filter-based PCR were 30 to 50 and 200 CFU for the gram-negative enterics and Listeria, respectively. Different numbers of S. flexneri cells were used in controlled contamination experiments with several different foods (produce, beef, and apple cider). Aliquots from concentrated food washes subsequently spotted onto FTA filters and assayed by PCR gave consistently positive results and detection limits similar to those observed with pure-culture dilutions. This universal method for PCR template preparation from bacterial cells is rapid and highly sensitive and reduces interference from food-associated inhibitors of PCR. In addition, its broad applicability eliminates the need for multiple methods for analysis of food matrices.