Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

Research Publications: UM-SG-RS-2011-25


Comparison of automated BAX PCR and standard culture methods for detection of listeria monocytogenes in blue crabmeat (Callinectus sapidus) and blue crab processing plants.




Pagadala, S; Parveen, S; Schwarz, JG; Rippen, T; Luchansky, JB


Journal of Food Protection 74(11):1930-1933




This study compared the automated BAX PCR with the standard culture method (SCM) to detect Listeria monocytogenes in blue crab processing plants. Raw crabs, crabmeat, and environmental sponge samples were collected monthly from se ten processing plants during the plant operating season, May through November 2006. For detection of L. monocytogenes in raw crabs and crabmeat, enrichment was performed in Listeria enrichment broth, whereas for environmental samples, demi-Fraser broth was used, and then plating on both Oxford agar and L. monocytogenes plating medium was done. Enriched samples were also analyzed by BAX PCR. A total of 960 samples were examined; 59 were positive by BAX PCR and 43 by SCM. Overall, there was no significant difference (P <= 0.05) between the methods for detecting the presence of L. monocytogenes in samples collected from crab processing plants. Twenty-two and 18 raw crab samples were positive for L. monocytogenes by SCM and BAX PCR, respectively. Twenty and 32 environmental samples were positive for L. monocytogenes by SCM and BAX PCR, respectively, whereas only one and nine finished products were positive. The sensitivities of BAX PCR for detecting L. monocyto genes in raw crabs, crabmeat, and environmental samples were 59.1, 100, and 60%, respectively. The results of this study indicate that BAX PCR is as sensitive as SCM for detecting L. monocytogenes in crabmeat, but more sensitive than SCM for detecting this bacterium in raw crabs and environmental samples.

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