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Applied and Environmental Microbiology (1)
Journal of Clinical Microbiology (1)
Cui, Shenghui (2)
Meng, Jianghong (2)
Ge, Beilei (1)
Li, Fan (1)
Wu, Josephine (1)
Zhang, David Y. (1)
Zhang, Wandi (1)
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Use of Ramification Amplification Assay for Detection of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Other E. coli Shiga Toxin-Producing Strains
Zhang, David Y.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology
Escherichia coli O157:H7 and other Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) strains are important human pathogens that are mainly transmitted through the food chain. These pathogens have a low infectious dose and may cause life-threatening illnesses. However, detection of this microorganism in contaminated food or a patient's stool specimens presents a diagnostic challenge because of the low copy number in the sample. Often, a more sensitive nucleic acid amplification method, such as PCR, is required for rapid detection of this microorganism. Ramification amplification (RAM) is a recently introduced isothermal DNA amplification technique that utilizes a circular probe for target detection and achieves exponential amplification through the mechanism of primer extension, strand displacement, and ramification. In this study, we synthesized a circular probe specific for the Shiga toxin 2 gene (stx2). Our results showed that as few as 10 copies of stx2 could be detected, indicating that the RAM assay was as sensitive as conventional PCR. We further tested 33 isolates of E coli O157:H7, STEC, Shigella dysenteriae, and nonpathogenic E. coli by RAM assay. Results showed that all 27 STEC isolates containing the stx2 gene were identified by RAM assay, while S. dysenteriae and nonpathogenic E. coli isolates were undetected. The RAM results were 100% in concordance with those of PCR. Because of its simplicity and isothermal amplification, the RAM assay could be a useful method for detecting STEC in food and human specimens.
Prevalence and Antimicrobial Resistance of Campylobacter spp. and Salmonella Serovars in Organic Chickens from Maryland Retail Stores
Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Retail organic (n = 198) and conventional (n = 61) chickens were analyzed. Most organic (76%) and conventional (74%) chickens were contaminated with campylobacters. Salmonellae were recovered from 61% of organic and 44% of conventional chickens. All Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium isolates from conventional chickens were resistant to five or more antimicrobials, whereas most S. enterica serovar Typhimurium isolates (79%) from organic chickens were susceptible to 17 antimicrobials tested.
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