martes, 19 de agosto de 2008

New phage offers rapid E. coli detection in meat, says BioMerieux

A new detection system for E. coli 0157: H7 is faster and more precise than molecular methods, claim the French license holders.
BioMérieux, a supplier of diagnostic systems, said that its new
phage recombinant protein, Vidas UP, was developed by German group Profos AG and is highly sensitive and specific towards Escherichia coli (E. coli) 0157: H7.
E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacteria that can cause bloody diarrhoea, dehydration, and in the most severe cases, kidney failure. It has been found to cause serious harm, especially to children, senior citizens and those with weak immune systems.
The bacteriophage is suitable for testing meat samples and is the latest addition to the Vidas line, which is an automated system for food-borne pathogen detection within food service laboratories, said a company spokesperson.

Fast detection
Increasing regulatory emphasis on food safety in plants and the cost of
recalls has spurred food companies to seek faster ways of detecting pathogens.

"Vidas UP offers faster and more precise detection of E. coli 0157: H7 than molecular methods, delivering test results within seven hours, and is capable of analyzing sample sizes up to 375 grams," added the spokesperson.

The use of recombinant phage protein gives VIDAS UP E. coli O157:H7 extraordinary sensitivity to detect very low contamination levels.Thanks to the ability of phage to find their host in highly contaminated environments, VIDAS UP E. coli O157:H7 can be used not only for food matrices but also for breeding environmental samples such as feces, hay, feed…
The most rapid method for E. coli O157:H7 testing: results in less than 7 hours
US meat recalls
Ground beef is one of the leading sources of E. coli contamination in the US although the number of cases has reduced as a result of better food safety practices in the meat sector.
However, this month saw a recall from Omaha-based Nebraska Beef Ltd of the 5.3m pounds of meat it produced for ground beef between May 16 and June 26, as the US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) linked the beef products to an outbreak of E. coli illnesses affecting 41 people.
FSIS labelled the recall as Class 1, which means the product involved carries a high health risk. The FSIS also issued a public health alert in May for beef products from Tyson Fresh Meats due to possible E. coli O157:H7 contamination, while in January, Minnesota-based Rochester Meat Co issued a major recall of 188,000 pounds of ground beef and other products because of similar concerns.
Aporte: Claudia Henríquez P.

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